Probate (Uncontested)

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We anticipate this will typically take between 2 and 25 hours work at £250 plus VAT per hour to £350 plus VAT per hour. Total costs are estimated at £500-£6000 (plus VAT currently at 20%).

The exact cost will depend on the circumstances of each matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a number of properties and multiple bank accounts and other assets, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you.

A broader explanation of matters that effect the estimate include the following:

  • Whether there is a valid will
  • The number of properties involved
  • The number of bank and/or building society accounts
  • The intangible assets
  • The number of beneficiaries
  • Whether there are any disputes between the beneficiaries concerning the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • Whether inheritance tax is payable and the executors need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • Whether there are any other claims made against the estate

In addition to the above circumstances described, we also specialise in working for clients with multiple properties, including currently tenanted properties and rental property partnerships and businesses.

Please contact us for more information and a bespoke quote for your circumstances which will be based on the work required.

How long does probate take?

On average, estates that fall within the above range of total costs estimated at £500-£6000 + VAT, are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks.

For a more detailed breakdown of the probate process stages, please see the Key Stages below.

Disbursements and Expenses

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

In a probate matter, the following disbursements are likely to apply:

  • £155.00 Probate application fee
  • £3.30 per beneficiary Bankruptcy/Land Charges search
  • £281.00 plus VAT Posting Trustee Act notices in The London Gazette and in a local Newspaper –protects against unexpected claims
  • Unclaimed assets search: Approximately £121.50 plus VAT (£145.80) (this search can find dormant accounts/investments that form part of the estate and can help avoid penalties for failing to search for assets owned by the deceased)
  • Surveyors fees (valuation of property and personal possessions/house contents): £150 – £350 plus VAT (£180 – £420) each for property / contents. This could be more if significant amount of possessions/ higher value / unusual in nature (e.g. rare book collections, rare gemstones)

Accountant’s fees: vary depending on requirements. Can be necessary if Capital Gains are made/gross income received during the administration period or the deceased was not up to date with their tax affair

The Services Included in the price follow these key probate stages

Stage 1 – We will meet with you to explain the Probate process and to understand what your loved one’s estate comprised of. We check with you to see if there is a Will and can assist in locating the Will for you. At this stage we will explain your responsibilities as the Executor or Administrator and answer any questions you may have. We will explain what our involvement will be, and we will communicate with you every step of the way. 

Stage 2 – We will need to contact all the financial institutions, including banks, building societies and other investment holders along with any creditors. We will obtain all of the valuations for you and if necessary, we can arrange valuations of personal effects and properties. We can request the bank to release funds for the funeral account if there is no prepaid funeral account. We can arrange for Statutory Advertisements to be placed in the local paper and the London Gazette.

Stage 3 – We will prepare the application for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and complete the HMRC account for you. At this stage, any Inheritance Tax will need to be paid. We will work with you to agree how that payment is made. We will also advise you of all the tax reliefs that are available to the estate and ensure we claim these to minimise any inheritance tax that is due. 

Stage 4 – The Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is received. This is the document that gives formal authority for the Executors/Administrators to collect in the assets of the estate and pay any liabilities. 

Stage 5 – We will register the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration with the financial institutions and complete all the closure forms for your signature to have the accounts closed. Once the financial institutions have released the funds to us, we can then discuss with you any liabilities that need to be paid and arrange payment of these on your behalf. 

Stage 6 – Paying the liabilities. Once the assets of the estate have been collected in, we can arrange for any liabilities to be paid at this stage. 

Stage 7 – Paying legacies to the beneficiaries. Any specific gifts of money or items are made to the beneficiaries, and we can deal with any property or shareholding transfers that are required. 

Stage 8 – We will prepare a detailed set of Estate Accounts for the Executors/Administrators approval. The accounts will show what assets have been received and any income and what liabilities have been paid. The balance of the estate will then be distributed to the residuary beneficiaries to complete the administration of the estate. 

Services not included that may incure additional costs

If there is no will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there, are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.

If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually) plus VAT.

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Other factors that could cause the administration to become more expensive include:

  • Unclear terms or ambiguities in the will
  • Family disagreements about the assets, their value, funeral arrangements or whether the will is fair
  • High value or estates with large portfolios of properties and shareholdings
  • Estates involving family companies
  • Asset valuations that are disputed by HMRC
  • Where there are or have been family trusts
  • Where there have been substantial pre-death gifts that affect the tax liability
  • Large numbers of beneficiaries or where an exercise of tracing distant relatives is needed

Who will be supporting my case?

Uncontested Probate matters are conducted by members of the firm’s probate team of solicitors

For more information about our solicitors please visit our Team page for more information.