SRA PRICING TRANSPARENCY
INFORMATION TO CLIENTS: PROBATE
As part of our professional rules, we aim to ensure that anyone wishing to use our services has the information they need to make an informed choice of legal services provider, including understanding what the costs may be.
Why instruct Bird & Daniels Solicitors?
When someone dies, unless their estate (house, possessions, bank accounts, shares etc) is very small, it will be necessary for someone to make an application to the court for a Grant of Probate, giving them authority to deal with the assets and liabilities. The people who do this are called “executors” who are named in the Will.
If there is no will, then someone (usually a close family member) applies for “Letters of Administration” for authority to deal.
In both cases, the applicant must complete Inheritance Tax forms (even if no tax will be payable) and swear an Oath that they will deal with matters in accordance with the law and, if so required, provide an account to the court. We can help executors or administrators, either by giving advice to enable them to deal themselves, or by taking over the whole of the job of dealing with matters.
Our fees are based partly on a percentage of the value of the estate (between 0.5% and 1%) plus the cost of time spent ranging between £150.00 and £230.00 per hour.
As a guide, we would expect time spent on obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to take between 4-15 hours. This would include obtaining details of the assets from the various organisations, preparing the Inheritance Tax forms and the oath and sending the necessary papers to the Probate Registry.
If a client then would like us to gather in the assets of the estate and distribute them in accordance with the will or the laws of intestacy, we would typically expect this to take between 10-30 hours at a cost of £1,500.00 - £6,000.00 depending on the member of staff.
All prices above exclude VAT.
What is included?
Of course, all probates are different and the figures mentioned above assume:
There is no more than one property in the estate
There are no more than 8 bank or building society accounts
There are no more than 6 beneficiaries (i.e. people entitled to a share)
There are no disputes or claims made against the estate
There is no investigation by the Department for Work & Pensions regarding possible overpayment of benefits
There are no overseas assets
There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
What is not included?
In addition to our costs, there will be payments to be made out of the estate (in addition to any debts, funeral costs etc.) which are usually:
Probate application fee of £158 (including 2 sealed copies of the Grant)
Between £5.00 and £7.00 per person swearing the oath
A recommended bankruptcy search against all beneficiaries at £2.00 per search
The cost of advertising for missing beneficiaries or a missing will, for which a quote will be obtained if needed
Any necessary professional valuations of houses or other property needed to complete the tax forms, typically between £150.00 and £300.00 plus VAT.
Finally, as it is not possible to mention all possible permutations here, we are happy to take brief details and give you a tailor-made estimate without obligation.
Key stages involved
Initial meeting – gathering information to write to various parties for figures as at the date of death
Preparation of the Inheritance Tax return (even if tax is not payable)
Swearing the oath and making an application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration
Gathering in the assets and payment of liabilities
Approving estate accounts and distribution of funds
Our Probate Team
A solicitor with over 40 years’ experience.
Telephone: 01274 580 999
Last update: February 2021 (Subject to change without prior notification)