Probate Costs & Timescales

The time and cost of probate varies from case to case, but we have provided examples below of a ‘simple’, a ‘typical’, and a ‘complicated’ matter to give you a general guide.

Examples of what we charge for a probate

Note: In these examples we have changed names and some other details to protect confidentiality.

A simple matter – Mr George

We charged £1,300.00 plus VAT and disbursements.

Mr George was 78 when he passed away, and three weeks after his death his wife asked us to assist in the Grant of Probate to his estate. This was a simple matter, handled by an experienced legal executive. We were able to receive the grant in a little over 4 months from being instructed. Our bill was £1,300.00 plus VAT and disbursements.

The reasons the bill was relatively small were:

  • His house was jointly owned with his wife, so there was no conveyancing needed
  • No inheritance tax was payable
  • The assets we had to collect and distribute were from five savings accounts (including ISA’s and Premium Bonds). He also had one joint savings account and two joint bank accounts with his wife. These assets had an approximate value of £203,000.00
  • There were only three beneficiaries including Mrs George and there were no trusts or other complexities involved
  • The information we required was easily obtainable, Mrs George was prompt in her correspondence with us, and she was able to provide us the information we required.

In addition to our fees there were disbursements of £172.00. These would be the same at any firm. They were made up of a probate application fee of £158.00 and £14.00 for swearing of the oath.

A typical case – Miss M Bennett

We charged £10,725.00 plus VAT and disbursements.

We had known the family for some years and were saddened to hear that one of the sisters had passed away aged 83. We were approached by the family to apply for the Grant of Probate, and to administer the estate. This took a little over two years to complete because of the property sale involved.

We estimated that it would cost up to £12,100.00* plus VAT and disbursements to assist the family in dealing with the estate. This cost estimate was based on the number of hours we assessed it would take (55 hours) and the hourly rate of the experienced legal executive leading the matter (£220.00*).

The time estimate was based on our need to;

  • Establish the assets and liabilities in the estate, which included 15 bank, building society and savings accounts, government departments, shares, and Miss Bennett’s chattels
  • Encash the assets across the same 15 organisations and pay any liabilities, including valuations, funeral costs and property clearance and cleaning
  • Prepare an IHT 400 and liaise with the Capital Taxes Office
  • Prepare and swear oaths and apply for the Grant of Probate
  • Liaise with HMRC and prepare the tax returns to the date of death and for the administration period
  • Prepare the estate accounts and deal with the residue, distributing this to three beneficiaries
  • Arrange for the sale of the property (completed through our firm but as a separate matter with our fees for the conveyancing being paid from the sale monies)

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £167.00 which was £7.00 for a swear fee and £160.00 for the probate registry.

*We have updated this figure to reflect our current hourly rates, as using the actual quote would give a false impression.

A complicated case – Mrs Montgomery

We charged £41,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements.

Our Managing Director and experienced legal executive administered the complex estate of Mrs Montgomery. Mrs Montgomery’s estate, valued at over £2.7 million, included a portfolio of bonds, shares and other investments, savings accounts and ISAs, a number of properties some of which were generating rental income, bank and building society accounts, pensions, and life insurance policies.

Mrs Montgomery’s wishes were for specific legacies and residuary elements of her estate to be distributed to charities, friends, and family which took over 2 and half years to complete. A substantial part of which was dealing with the sale of property assets and tracing assets and trustees.

Due to the complex nature of this matter we charged a percentage of the gross value of the estate. We needed to;

  • Establish the assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Encash the assets and pay any liabilities
  • Prepare an IHT 400 and liaise with the Capital Taxes Office over payment of Inheritance Tax
  • Prepare and swear oaths and apply for the Grant of Probate
  • Liaise with HMRC and prepare the tax returns to the date of death and for the administration period
  • Prepare the estate accounts and distribute the specific and residual elements of the estate
  • Trace missing assets
  • Deal with substantive issues on several trusts
  • Deal with delicate issues between beneficiaries
  • Deal with Inheritance Tax instalment payments

In addition to our bill there were disbursements of £187.00 which was £27.00 for a swear fees and £160.00 for the probate registry.