LEGAL COSTS FOR UNCONTESTED PROBATE

 

Legal Costs for Uncontested Probate

 

Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left to those who are the beneficiary, in case there is no will, or the named inheritors (beneficiaries) in the Will.

 

Uncontested probate is where there is no dispute over the Will and distribution of assets.

 

Legal Fees are the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from commencement of your case to conclusion.

 

  • Our average standard legal fee for an uncontested probate matter, which does not exceed the Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band, thus, no Inheritance Tax is payable and the IHT205 form is completed, our costs will be in the region of £4,500 -£5,500 +VAT (a total cost of £5,400 – £6,600 Inc. VAT). Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.
  • A simple estate, whereby the only Inheritance Tax exemption application to the Estate is spouse exemption i.e., all assets passing on death to a surviving spouse or civil partner do not exceed the gross estate value of £500,000.00, thus, exempt from Inheritance Tax, our costs will be in the region of £6,500 – £8,000 + VAT (£7,800 – £9,600 Inc. VAT)
  • Should additional documentation need to be drafted relating to the administration of the estate i.e., Deed of Variation allowing the beneficiaries to make changes to their entitlement from a
  • Will after the person has died, Deed of Disclaimer of Inheritance allowing the beneficiaries to give up all rights to their inheritance or any other documents relating to the administration of the estate, our costs will be in the region of £1,000 – £1,500 +VAT (£1,200 – £1,800 Inc. VAT)
  • We will charge the sum of £50 + VAT (£60 Inc. VAT) for Electronic money transfers.
  • VAT will be payable on our fees and most disbursements and we will clearly confirm which disbursements carry VAT in our formal quotation or as we advise you to incur them.

 

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the 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 property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

 

We will handle the full process for you. Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where: –

 

  • There is a valid will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There is no more than £325,000 in bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • There are 1 – 2 beneficiaries.
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
  • There are no claims made against the estate.
  • There is no tax clearance awaited for either inheritance or income tax.

 

If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.

 

Estates that are more complex, which require the application of appropriate reliefs, requires the completion of form IHT400 and does not exceed the gross estate value of £1,000,000.00, our costs will be in the region of £13,500.00 to £16,500.00+VAT (£16,200 – £19,800 Inc. VAT) plus Disbursement.

 

Should the estate of the decease exceed £1,000,000.00 but does not exceed £1,500,000.00 and becomes complex due to various assets and numerous bank accounts, our costs will be in the region of £15,000.00 to £18,000.00+VAT (£18,000 – £21,600 Inc. VAT) plus Disbursement.

 

Should the estate of the decease exceed £1,500,000.00 and becomes complex due to various assets and numerous bank accounts, we charge on an hourly rate depending on the fee earner dealing with your matter, details of which are stipulated below.

 

Administration of the Estate

 

Once the Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration has been obtained from the Court and we are instructed to deal with the administration of the Estate we charge on an hourly rate depending on the fee earner dealing with your matter. The hourly charging rates of our legal staff are as follows:

 

Our hourly rate for handling an average uncontested probate matter range from £175 – £300 + VAT (£210– £360 Inc. VAT) and for outside of office hours ranges from £225 – £450 + VAT (£270 – and this will depend on the experience and qualification of the person handling your transaction.

 

Position Rate per hour (£) Rate per hour (£) (outside office hours)
Senior Partner £300 + VAT (£360 Inc. VAT) £450 + VAT (£540 Inc. VAT)
Partner £235 + VAT (£282 Inc. VAT) £300 + VAT (£360 Inc. VAT
Solicitor £235 + VAT (£282 Inc. VAT) £300 + VAT (£360 Inc. VAT
Trainee Solicitor £195 + VAT (£234 Inc. VAT) £262.50 + VAT (£315 Inc. VAT)
Legal Assistant £175 + VAT (£210 Inc. VAT £225 + VAT (£270 Inc. VAT)

 

Disbursements

 

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

 

You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount. Typical disbursements will include: –

 

  • Probate application fee (Probate Court Fee: £158 plus 50p for every office copy).
  • Swearing of the oath (per executor): £7
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches: £2 for each beneficiary
  • Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. £70+VAT (£84.00 Inc. VAT)
  • Post in a Local Newspaper and Statutory advertisements – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. Typically ranges from £300-£450 + VAT (£360 – £540 Inc. VAT)
  • Counsel’s Fess – will be advised if required
  • Caveat – £20.00
  • Probate Search – £20.00
  • Accountants Fees – between £1,000.00 to £1,500.00 + VAT (£1200 – £1800 Inc. VAT)
  • Estate Agents Valuation Fee – will be advised if required
  • Independent Financial Advisor – will be advised if required

 

How long will this take?

 

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 9 – 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes more than 20 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 8 – 12 weeks.

 

Once this has been done and provided it is safe to do so we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 6 – 8 weeks.

 

Before making any distribution the Executors need to decide whether or not they wish to place Statutory Notices in the newspapers. Statutory Notices are notices which are placed to allow any unknown creditors two months to come forward and make a claim against the Estate. If you do not place the Notices in the newspapers and an unknown creditor comes forward, at a later date, you will be personally liable for any monies due to the unknown creditor.

 

Stages of the Process

 

  • The precise stages involved in an uncontested probate vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction: –
  • Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
  • Undertaking regulatory checks.
  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
  • Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require.
  • Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application.
  • Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
  • Preparing the Statement of Truth for you to sign.
  • Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
  • Obtaining the Probate and securely send a copy to you.
  • Collecting and distributing all assets in the estate.

 

Potential additional costs Further potential costs may arise where: –

 

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is 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 £1.50)(1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • Advising upon, estate related Inheritance Tax, and submitting Inheritance Tax returns and subsequent formalities.
  • If complications do arise, then we will review the matter at the relevant time and discuss and obtain your consent to any further charges that may have to be incurred.
  • If there is any property transactions and any other matters in connection with the estate after the Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration, these will be handled and charged separately.

 

For further information relating to our pricing structure or any others questions you may have relating to our fees and services, please contact our Probate Team on 0208 577 1222.

 

  • Senior Partner, Chaman Lal MA LLB (Hons) is the founder of CL Law Solicitors. He is the driving force of the firm and thrives in dealing with complex cases. He has over 20 years’ of experience in broad spectrum to include various contentious and non-contentious Probate matters. His strength is to take on board key details and find a speedy resolution. His extensive knowledge and experience in wills and probate ensures that clients can expect to receive the highest level of service. Chaman has built a reputation and gained respect for being honest, talking straight and being able to explain complex issues and procedures in simple terms to ensure that the client’s best interests is preserved.

 

  • Hardeep Singh Grewal LLB (Hons) is a Partner with substantial experience in drafting Wills and obtaining Probate. He joined the firm in December 2014 as a Legal Assistant and progressed to qualify as a Solicitor in September 2019. Hardeep handles contentious and non-contentious Probate matters and is known for his focused attention to details and prides himself on excellent client care, ensuring all matters run smoothly and efficiently.

 

  • Mandeep Kaur Neta LLM is a Trainee Solicitor. She joined CL Law Solicitors in February 2017. Mandeep is supervised by the Senior Partner, Chaman Lal. Mandeep has become an integral part of the Probate Department and has gained considerable experience in dealing with contentious and non-contentious Probate matters. She thoroughly enjoys the client contact aspect of Private Client work.

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