Non-Contentious Probate: Price and Service Information

The overall cost of Probate work including the administration of estates varies widely due to the different sizes and complexities of estates, and also how much work parties wish us to handle as opposed to doing aspects of the matter personally.

Our basis of charging normally will take in to account both the value of the estate and the amount of work involved.

For the value element we charge 1.5% (reduced to 3/4 of 1% for the deceased's home or share therein). The work involved is then charged at an hourly rate of normally £170 per hour. In accordance with approved procedures routine letters out and phone calls up to six minutes are charged on a unit basis of one-tenth of an hour and routine letters in at one-twentieth of an hour (letters include e-mails and other form of written electronic communication).

VAT is charged on our fees at the standard rate, currently 20%.

So for example an estate consisting of a home valued at £500,000, £200,000 of other assets and where the work entailed to administer would occupy thirty hours of professional time the fees would be built up as follows:

  • Value element (home) £500,000 at .75% - £3,750
  • Value element (other assets) £200,000 at 1.5% - £3,000
  • Time element 30 hours at £170 per hour - £5,100
  • Total - £11,850

For smaller estates it may be more appropriate to charge purely on an hourly rate without a value element in which case the hourly rate would be uplifted to £255 plus VAT.

There may be some enhancement of these rates if for example the solicitor is also acting as executor or trustee.

Service information

We would normally see the executors or administrators (who are the clients) and advise them of what is required in the particular case, check whether there is a Will and that it is the latest Will and establish its authenticity and that it has been duly executed.

We will notify the death where appropriate and obtain details of all the deceased's assets and we can assist with obtaining property valuations for example.

We will also obtain details of the funeral and other debts of the deceased and from this calculate the value of the estate and prepare the appropriate Inland Revenue Returns and calculate any inheritance tax payable and communicate with the Capital Taxes office as appropriate in respect of this.

We will prepare the appropriate forms to apply for the grant of probate or letters of administration and upon obtaining the grant will report to you further. We will deal as required further in connection with the closure of accounts, sale of property and payment of debts and distribution of assets to the appropriate beneficiaries. We can also assist with regard to any administration tax returns that may be needed.

All estates are individual in their circumstances and we will assist with dealing with all matters that may arise during the course of the administration.

We will prepare accounts of the administration of the deceased's estate for your approval prior to distribution to the beneficiaries.

Timeframes for applying for grants of probate or administration will depend upon the information being obtained and in straightforward cases we would aim to have the application in within two months of instructions but more complex cases may take considerably longer. Administration of an estate does depend on individual circumstances e.g. whether there is a sale of the house that is required but in the more straightforward cases we would hope to have matters dealt with within three to six months further.

Matters are handled by and under the supervision of the Principal Solicitor, Richard Ablitt.