Probate – How much does it cost?

At Jobling Gowler Solicitors we offer a number of fixed price services. These services are ideal where you would like to undertake some parts of the process yourself and would only like our help on specific matters.  Fixed price services are designed to remove the uncertainty and include all the obvious costs involved.  By selecting a fixed price service, you are guaranteeing that you will pay no more for the service than you have agreed.

At Jobling Gowler Solicitors, we also offer our clients the option of receiving help with the paperwork, if they would prefer to complete some of the paperwork themselves.

The documents required by the Probate Registry and HMRC can be difficult to understand.  Some people choose to seek help to complete these forms, as getting things wrong can result in additional costs.  For a fixed price, one of our qualified STEP solicitors can review your completed forms and advise on any errors or omissions.  In such circumstances the check undertaken would be based upon the list of assets and liabilities provided by you and as such you would be responsible for ensuring that this information was correct.

There are occasions where you may prefer us to handle the full administration process for you.  On such occasions our fees are based on an hourly rate.  This is because each case can vary enormously in complexity.   We will discuss this with you in the free, no- obligation, meeting to ensure that you are able to choose the most appropriate option for you.

Fixed Price Services:

Grant of Probate Application / Letters of Administration Application and Inheritance Tax

Before you can administer the estate of someone who has died, which will includes tidying up their affairs and distributing their assets to beneficiaries, you will usually need to obtain legal authority to act.  This is done by applying for a Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there is no Will).  These grants give you the necessary authority to administer the estate of someone who has died. Banks will usually require a copy of the grant in order for you to have access to the deceased’s bank account(s), sell investments or any property.

In addition to applying for a Grant of Probate, it is necessary to complete an Inheritance Tax form.  This form is required whether or not inheritance tax is due.

In general terms, it is necessary to pay inheritance tax where the value of the estate is more than the threshold set by the government.  This inheritance tax threshold is referred to as the ‘nil-rate band’.

Jobling Gowler Solicitors will discuss with you whether inheritance tax is likely to be due on the estate.  We will also discuss with you the current rates of inheritance tax during a free, no-obligation 30-minute meeting. Further information on inheritance tax, can be found on the Government Website.

Grant of Probate & IHT 205

Fixed Price Grant of Probate & IHT205 (Usually where no tax is due)
Our Fees £750.00
VAT £150.00
Probate Registry Fee* £155.00
TOTAL £1,055.00

* Please note that the probate registry fee is more expensive if you choose to submit the paperwork yourself.

Help with the paperwork**
Our Fees £350.00
VAT £  70.00
Probate Registry Fee* £215.00
TOTAL £635.00

**If you are instructing us to check your paperwork, we will do so based upon the list of assets and liabilities provided by you and as such you would be responsible for ensuring that this information was correct.

Additional Costs to be incurred on both services
Swear Fee (per executor/ administrator) £    5.00
+ Swear Fee per exhibit £    2.00
Copy of grant £    0.50

Grant of Probate Application and IHT 400

Fixed Price Grant of Probate & IHT400 (Usually where tax is due)
Our Fees £1,500.00
VAT £   300.00
Probate Registry Fee* £   155.00
TOTAL £1,955.00

* Please note that the probate registry fee is more expensive if you choose to submit the paperwork yourself.

Help with the paperwork**
Our Fees £   700.00
VAT £   140.00
Probate Registry Fee* £   215.00
TOTAL £1,055.00

**If you are instructing us to check your paperwork, we will do so based upon the list of assets and liabilities provided by you and as such you would be responsible for ensuring that this information was correct.

Additional Costs to be incurred on both services
Swear Fee (per executor/ administrator) £    5.00
+ Swear Fee per exhibit £    2.00
Copy of grant £    0.50

Assent

When a property owner dies, their name is not automatically removed from the title of their property.  It is therefore necessary to inform the Land Registry and provide evidence that they have passed away.

Title deeds to properties can be held electronically with the Land Registry (known as ‘registered’) or held in paper deeds (known as ‘unregistered’).

If the property is registered in joint names then is necessary to inform the Land Registry.  If it passes automatically to the surviving owner (known as joint tenants), it is necessary to complete a Deceased Joint Proprietor (DJP) Form and send it to the Land Registry with a copy of the death certificate.

If it does not pass automatically to the surviving owner (known as tenants in common) then an Assent will need to be completed to transfer it to the new owner.  A Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration will also be required before a property can be transferred.

If the property is registered in the sole name of the person who has died, it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration (detailed above) before the property can be sold or transferred.

If the property is not registered, a transfer of ownership will trigger the need to register the property for the first time.

You can read more about the process on the Land Registry, government website.

Fixed Price Assent
Our Fees (per property) £250.00
VAT £  50.00
TOTAL £300.00

 

Additional Costs
Land Registry Fees (Dependent upon the value of the property) Between £  40.00- £910*
Land Registry Search Fee £    3.00
VAT on Land Registry search fee £    0.60

* Please see Land Registry Website for further details of their fees.

 

Deed of Variation

There are occasions where beneficiaries would like to vary their entitlement in relation to an estate.  For example, if a beneficiary would like to redirect their inheritance to another individual to save on inheritance tax.  Where there is an agreement for this amongst all the parties effected, a Deed of Variation can be prepared.

Jobling Gowler Solicitors offer this service for a fixed fee.  Based upon the advice of your solicitor, you may decide to achieve greater flexibility by creating a trust as part of the deed.  Your individual circumstances will be discussed and the options available will be explained to you.

Fixed Price Deed of Variation
Our Fees £500.00
VAT £100.00

 

Fixed Price Deed of Variation inc. Trust
Our Fees £750.00
VAT £150.00

 

Full Estate Administration

You may prefer to instruct Jobling Gowler Solicitors to undertake all aspects of the deceased’s estate administration.  In such circumstances our fees are based upon an hourly rate.  A senior probate lawyer will be allocated to the matter, providing advice and support at every stage.  We will agree with you in advance, the various stages of the process where we will account to you for the progress we have made and the value of the fees incurred at that point.

It is usual for our fees on probate matters to be paid for by the deceased’s estate. Where this is not possible, (if it has been identified that there are likely to be insufficient funds within the estate), we will discuss this with you at the outset.  For more information about funding your case, please click here.

Our specialist team can assist you with a full range of probate services.  We will discuss the options available to you and you can decide which of those you would like us to undertake on your behalf.  The probate services that can be included in full estate administration are:

  • Assistance with funeral planning
  • Arranging valuation of assets in the estate
  • Completing Inheritance Tax accounts
  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
  • Advising whether a Deed of Variation is advantageous
  • Arranging sale or auction of assets
  • Arranging payment of any debts
  • Advising on and dealing with the sale of any property
  • Distributing the assets amongst the beneficiaries
  • Completion of final income tax returns (if appropriate)
Hourly rate for Full Estate Administration
Our Fees (per hour) £220.00
VAT (per hour) £44.00

Please note that we do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate.

The process of estate administration can vary according to the complexity of the estate.  For example, whether there are beneficiaries or assets abroad and whether there is a property to sell.  It is therefore difficult to give an accurate indication of the likely value of the fees to be incurred or the duration of time that the administration of the estate is likely to take.

However, based upon our considerable experience, a straightforward matter for Full Estate Administration takes on average between 6-12 months.  (Please be aware that there have been cases where an administration has taken in excess of two years due to difficulties in selling the property.)

The following examples provide an indication of what fees you might expect depending on the complexity of the matter.

Example 1: The full administration of a straightforward estate took 9 – 11 hours.  This is based upon:

  • 2 beneficiaries
  • 4 bank accounts
  • 1 property
  • Admin of bills and utilities

Fees in example 1= £1,980 – £2,420 (+VAT)

 

Example 2: The administration of a more complex estate took 18 – 20 hours.  This is based upon:

  • 4 beneficiaries
  • 8 bank accounts
  • Investments
  • A taxable estate
  • 1 property
  • Admin of bills and utilities

Fees in example 2= £3,960 – £4,400 (+VAT)

You can rest assured that by instructing Jobling Gowler Solicitors, you would be in the best possible hands.  To read about the support we have provided to other clients in their time of need click here.

To discuss your particular circumstances and receive advice on the costs of estate administration, call 01625 614 250.

For more information about our expert team, please read Wills, Probate and Tax Team

Recognition of the work that we do:

  Lexcel Accreditation