Probate Fees

When a loved one dies, it is a very upsetting and dark time for most. We can offer assistance to Executors and Personal Representatives and guide them through the process of fully administering an Estate. Our experienced and friendly solicitors can offer a sympathetic and informal but professional approach when discussing such sensitive issues with clients. Our team have a significant wealth of collective experience of over 50 years in this area of law from our partners who have looked after the residents of Newport and beyond within our established Newport based firm. We pride our service on being approachable and breaking the legal issue down into clear understandable information for our clients to digest.

Extraction of a Grant of Representation only

Our costs to apply for a Grant only are fixed at either £450 plus vat or £850 plus vat plus disbursements, depending on whether a full tax account (IHT 400) with attached Schedules are required to be prepared.

If an Estate requires a simpler tax account (IHT 205) to be completed, we can make the application to the Probate Registry to extract the Grant only for the fixed fee of £450 plus vat plus disbursements. Disbursements are third party costs that are incurred to complete the matter at hand.
The Disbursements incurred to extract a Grant only would be the swearing fee at £5 per Executor or Personal Representative and £2 per document (Will/Codicil/Affidavit) per Executor or Personal Representative. For example, if there is a Will and two Executors, the swearing fee would be £5 x 2 plus £2 x 2 = £14.

We estimate these matters usually take between 3-6 months to be completed on average.

If an Estate requires a full IHT 400 account plus Schedules to be completed, this is a more onerous process which not only increases the cost, but the length of time to complete. Our fee to complete the tax forms and arrange to settle any outstanding tax due to HMRC costs £850 plus vat plus disbursements as detailed above.

Taxes payable – these will be additional to our costs. Please refer to https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax for full details of potential tax payable from the Estate.

We estimate these matters usually take between 4-8 months to be completed on average.

Full Administration of Estate costs where all assets are in the UK

Our costs for undertaking a full administration of Estate can vary significantly based on the amount of work involved in dealing with all assets and liabilities the deceased held at the date of death. Our fees are based on how many units of work (6 minutes per unit) are required to complete the matter in hand. The units are multiplied by a breakdown of the Solicitors hourly rate, currently either £177 or £200 per hour based on post qualification experience. For example, 2 units of a Solicitors time at £177 hourly rate is £17.70 x 2 = £35.40 plus vat (please ask for further information in this respect should you require).

All letters and e-mails in and out, telephone calls, preparation, drafting, reviews and attendances are recorded and billed accordingly. Vat is then added to this cost plus a value factor of the Estate which is charged at .5% of the value of the net Estate at the date of death. Vat is then added to the value factor cost.

Each and every case is unique and sometimes we cannot pre-empt unusual complexities or unforeseen issues, but we will inform you of these and provide you with a revised cost, if appropriate.

We anticipate that to administer an Estate where there is:

• A valid Will and no uncertainty surrounding it
• One property
• Not more than 6 bank or building society accounts
• No intangible assets (such as a business)
• No more than 4 beneficiaries
• There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise then this is likely to increase fees
• There is no inheritance tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC (IHT400 and Schedules)
• There are no claims made against the Estate.

And the work involved comprises of:

• Initial attendance
• Write to all asset holders and liabilities
• Submit all tax forms and probate application – swearing fee payable (disbursement), please refer to Extraction of a Grant of Representation only section for full details of these disbursement costs.
• Obtain the Grant of Representation – application fee payable currently, there is a flat fee of £155. There is no fee paid for estates worth under £5,000. There is also a 50p charge for every sealed copy requested. We will request two sealed copies unless instructed differently (disbursement).
• Post in the London Gazette and local newspaper to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors (if required by the Personal Representatives) costs between £250-£300 plus vat (disbursement).
• Gather in assets and settle all liabilities
• Pay any pecuniary legacies and satisfy any specific bequests, if required
• Contact residuary beneficiaries
• Prepare Estate Accounts
• Undertake Bankruptcy Searches – £2 per beneficiary (disbursement).
• Distribute the Estate
• Retain original Grant of Representation, if required

Our fees would be between £2,000 – £3,000 plus vat £400 – £600) plus the disbursements detailed above.

On average, Estates that fall within this range are dealt with within approximately 6-12 months if no inheritance tax is due from the Estate.

There will be an additional cost to sell a property or for preparing tax returns, if required and you would need to contact our offices to discuss further if appropriate.

In the event that there is no Will or the Estate consists of any share holdings (stocks, shares or bonds), there is likely to be an additional cost that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be handled. We will discuss this with you in detail and advise of any additional fees. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.

Additional services that will require the assistance of a third party at additional costs could include:
• Tax advice
• Certainty Will locating
• Estate Research costs for family trees or unknown locations of beneficiaries
• Valuations of properties, savings, investments and other assets

If a Deed of Variation is required to vary the terms of the Will, this will incur an additional cost of £250 plus vat.

If a Renounciation is required for one of the Executors to give up the right to act in the administration of an Estate, this will incur an additional cost of £250 plus vat.

If an Assent or a transfer of a property or parcel of land as per the Will or intestacy, if required at this stage, this will incur additional costs of between £250-£400 plus vat plus HMLR fees payable and please refer to guidance on their fees here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-hm-land-registry-guides

As part of our fees we will:

• Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
• Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
• Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
• Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
• Complete the probate application and the relevant HMRC forms
• Draft a legal Oath for your swearing
• Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
• Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
• Collect and distribute all assets in the Estate

Key milestones and timescales
Typically, obtaining a grant of representation takes approximately 3-6 months if no inheritance tax is due from the Estate. Collecting assets then follows which all depends on how quickly third parties communicate with us so this can vary between approximately 3-6 months. Once this has been done and all liabilities paid, any gifts left in the Will are settled and final distribution can take place. Final distribution consists of contacting all residuary beneficiaries, undertaking bankruptcy searches (£2 per beneficiary), preparing final Estate Accounts and having them approved by the Personal Representatives then paying out monies and requesting a receipt by signed and returned which on average can take a couple of weeks. All in all we estimate these matters usually take between 6-12 months to be completed on average.