Probate – Fees and Services

Uncontested wills with all assets in the UK

Lightfoots provide services to support families going through bereavement by helping them deal with the legal work needed to gain access to their loved one’s assets and carry out their last wishes.  How much this will cost depends on the type of estate and the level of complexity.

The following scenarios provide guidance as to what might be expected for standard probate cases, i.e. the administration of uncontested wills with all assets in the UK, and is dependent on how much work the family wish to do themselves. Please read these carefully as some aspects of the work will not be carried out without specific instructions and additional expense. We will be happy to provide further information upon enquiry.

Scenario 1 – Simple Estate, Preparation of Probate Court Documents only

The family/executors will provide all the financial information relating to the estate’s assets and liabilities. We will prepare all the necessary paperwork leading to the Grant of Probate. The exact fee will depend on the individual circumstances of the estate. For example, if there is one beneficiary, no property to be sold, and only one or two assets, the costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries and assets, the costs will be at the higher end of the range.

This scenario assumes the following: –

  • There is a valid will or simple Intestacy distribution applies
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no family disputes or possible claims against the estate which could lead to significant additional costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC for any other reason.
  • The executors will deal with the collection of the assets and distribution of the estate after receipt of the Grant of Probate
  • There is no will trust to be implemented

How long will it take?

On average estates of this nature will be dealt with 4-6 months. Typically obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 3-4 weeks once the paperwork is submitted to the Probate Registry. Gathering all relevant information from the executors will be the lead time for this type of case.

Price range £900 – £1,800 plus VAT

Fee Description Fee (£) VAT (£)
Lightfoots Legal Fee 900 – 1,800 180 – 360
Probate Application Fee 155 N/A
     
Creditors Search Fee (Optional – To protect Executors from Unexpected Claims) Approx. 350 N/A
Additional Sealed Copies of the Grant 0.50 per Copy N/A

Scenario 2 – Preparation of Inheritance Tax and Probate Court Documents only

The family/executors will provide all the information as for Scenario 1 but the Estate is larger or more complex and may involve the payment of Inheritance Tax or the completion of a full account to HMRC for another reason. This could be as a result of lifetime gifts or claiming an unused portion of a tax-free band from a late spouse’s estate.

Typically, the estate will not pass to a surviving spouse but to a person’s family, friends, or to charity.  It may include a share portfolio, property and accounts.

This scenario assumes the following: –

  • There is a valid will
  • There are no more than 10 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no family disputes or possible claims against the estate which could lead to significant additional costs
  • The executors will deal with the collection of the assets and distribution of the estate after receipt of the Grant of Probate
  • There is no will Trust to be implemented

How long will it take?

On average estates of this nature will be dealt within 6-12 months. The payment of part of any Inheritance Tax that is due and obtaining the relevant receipt from HMRC has to be carried out before the application can be submitted to the Probate Registry. On average this receipt may take up to one month to obtain.  Typically obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 3-4 weeks once the paperwork is submitted to the Probate Registry.  Gathering all relevant information from the executors will be the lead time for this type of case.

Range £1,800 plus VAT – £3,500 plus VAT

Fee Description Fee (£) VAT (£)
Lightfoots Legal Fee 1,800 – 3,500 360 – 700
Probate Application Fee 155 N/A
     
Creditors Search Fee (Optional – To protect Executors from Unexpected Claims) Approx. 300 N/A
Additional Sealed Copies of the Grant 0.50 per Copy N/A

Scenario 3 – Full Service

We will obtain all the information about the estate, complete all necessary forms leading to the Grant of Probate including the full account (IHT400) for Inheritance Tax and the payment of Inheritance Tax where relevant.  After receipt of the Grant, we will collect in the assets of the estate, pay liabilities, prepare estate accounts and distribute the remaining estate and distribute them in accordance with the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy if there is no valid will.

This scenario assumes the following: –

  • There is a valid will or simple Intestacy distribution applies
  • There are no family disputes or possible claims against the estate which could lead to significant additional costs
  • There is no Will Trust to be implemented

 How long will it take?

On average estates of this nature will be dealt within 6-12 months but for more complex estates may take longer where property is to be sold before final distribution of the estate can take place. The payment of Inheritance Tax and obtaining the relevant receipt from HMRC has to be carried out before the application can be submitted to the Probate Registry. On average this may take up to one month to obtain.  Typically obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 3-4 weeks once the paperwork is submitted to the Probate Registry.  Gathering all relevant valuation information from the asset holders will govern the speed of administration.

Price Range £3,000 – £10,000 plus VAT

Fee Description Fee (£) VAT (£)
Lightfoots Legal Fee 3,000 – 10,000 600 – 2,000
Probate Application Fee 155 N/A
     
Creditors Search Fee (Optional – To protect Executors from Unexpected Claims) Approx. 300 N/A
Additional Sealed Copies of the Grant 0.50 per Copy N/A
Bankruptcy Search Fees 2 per Beneficiary N/A
Any fees charged by Share Registrars to deal with share transfers Variable Variable

Complex Estates

For the most complex estates, involving multiple properties, farming or business properties, complex assets and numerous beneficiaries, we will provide a tailor-made estimate once the facts of the estate are known.  However, as a guide, the fees for Scenario 3 would be a starting point.  It is likely that such work will only be undertaken or supervised by a Partner or Senior Solicitor.

PLEASE NOTE – ADDITIONAL FEES

 Additional fees may be charged at our hourly rates for work that falls outside of these scenarios including for example advice on the rules where no valid will is found, preparing additional documents needed by the Probate Registry such as a Renunciation of Probate, obtaining medical reports if an executor lacks capacity and other unforeseen complications.

Where property is to be sold or transferred, please obtain a separate estimate of fees from the Residential Conveyancing team.

Hourly Rates – Probate Department

Staff Member Job Title / Level Hourly Rate
Monica Havers Partner £245 + VAT
Belinda Harvey Solicitor £235 + VAT
Marilyn Gooch Solicitor (Part-Time) £210 + VAT
Monica Wickert Senior Legal Assistant £200 + VAT
Probate Assistant £160 + VAT