King & Co Solicitors, Cambridge, UK

Probate Costs

There are many factors which impact upon the cost of dealing with the administration of an estate including whether there is a valid will the number and nature of the assets whether any of those assets are outside the UK how many beneficiaries there are what reliefs can be claimed in respect of Inheritance Tax and whether Inheritance Tax is payable

We will therefore provide a quote on a case by case basis once we have all the information we need but it will be based upon an hourly rate of £250+VAT at the prevailing rate (currently 20% ) (£300 including VAT) and in most cases a value element which will be between ½% and 1% of the value of all of the assets within the estate to which VAT at 20% will also need to be added.  As a general indication however you can anticipate our fee will be between 1% and 2% of the gross value of all of the assets within the estate plus VAT at 20%.  There are of course estates which will fall outside this range. Simpler estates could be below 1% and more complex estates above 2%.

The work which will be undertaken by this firm covered by that fee includes:

  • obtaining confirmation of the probate values of the estate for inclusion in the forms which must be completed to obtain the Grant
  • considering the reliefs which can be claimed against possible Inheritance Tax and completing any necessary claim forms
  • arranging for the release of funds from bank and building society accounts to pay any Inheritance due before the Grant can be issued
  • obtaining the Grant
  • collecting in or transferring the assets to beneficiaries
  •  paying from the estate any outstanding liabilities (including the funeral account)
  •  distributing the net estate to the beneficiaries

In addition to this firms fees the following fees will also be payable:

Application fee payable to the Probate Registry £300

Further official copies of the Grant from the Probate Registry £1.50 per copy (normally we would acquire sufficient copies so that there is one for each financial institution which needs to see the Grant)

Inheritance Tax (if applicable)

Bankruptcy search against each beneficiary £2 per name

Advertisement for creditors (where advisable) in the London Gazette and local newspaper approximately £500

Valuation fees for houses land and business assets comprised within the estate and valuation of shares if the market price cannot be easily established

The advertising and valuation fees will be subject to VAT but none of the other payments are

The above fees do not include this firm’s fee for acting on the sale of any house or land within the estate and any disbursements connected with that sale.  In respect of the sale of a house see our fees on this website for the sale of residential property

Nor do they include this firm’s fees for the preparation of any Deed of Variation for any beneficiary or the preparation of any trust documents.

Separate fees for the above will be quoted as required.

What we do not do:

This firm does not deal with contentious probate matters ie estates where there are disputes about the validity of the Will or a claim is being made by a family member under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act that the Will(or if there is no valid will the rules which apply to the distribution of a person’s assets in those circumstances) do not make proper financial provision for that person

Income Tax returns either for the deceased for any period of his or her lifetime or the estate covering the period of the administration.  In most cases income arising during the course of the administration can be included in the tax returns of the beneficiaries.   Where income tax returns are required an accountant will need to be instructed at the expense of the estate

So far as the length of time the administration of an estate can take this is subject to a number of matters but typically it can take 1 to 2 months to collect all the information required to complete the application for the Grant 6 weeks to 2 months to arrange for the payment of any Inheritance Tax payable before the Grant can be issued (HMRC have to be allowed a month in which to send the formal receipt for the payment of Tax to the Probate Registry which is part of this period) a month to 6 weeks for the Probate Registry to issue the Grant and then a further month to close bank and building society accounts and collect in the other assets. Based upon these estimates the total length of time would be in the region of 4 to 5 months if no Inheritance Tax is payable and 6 to 7 months if Inheritance Tax is payable

If there is a house to be sold or assets abroad these could increase the amount of time it will take

All probate work is undertaken or supervised within our offices by fully qualified solicitors all of whom have been dealing with this kind of work since they qualified as solicitors (Ralph Freeman and Paul Huskinson in the Cambridge office qualified in May 1971 and March 1984 respectively and Roger Covell and Stephanie Cumberland in the Cottenham office qualified in December 1981 and October 1983 respectively)