Probate: Range of Costs

We charge for all of our estate administration services on time spent at the hourly rates of the team members involved. We do not charge fixed percentages of the estate. This means is that we can tailor our services specifically to the service you require, and you only pay for the work which is actually carried out on your behalf. We use the same pricing model whether the executors are individuals or partners of this firm.

When an individual makes a Will, executors are appointed to administer their estate and ensure the estate passes to the beneficiaries of the Will. This is often an onerous process and many executors choose to use the services of professionals to assist them in meeting their obligations. Individuals often choose professionals to act as executors if they believe the task would be too much for their family to deal with.

Our fees are calculated based on a time spent basis. Unlike some other firms who charge a fixed percentage which includes an ‘uplifted amount’ known as the value element, we charge on a time basis at the hourly rates agreed with you at the beginning of the matter or we will agree a fixed fee for the tranches or stages of work in advance of your instruction.

You will only pay for the work which is actually done on your behalf or on behalf of the estate.

Our hourly rates for the members of the Private Client team are as follows:

  • Head of department £325
  • Senior Solicitor £300
  • Solicitor (under 5 years post qualification experience) £250
  • Senior Paralegal/Legal Executive/Trainee Solicitor £175

Our rates are reviewed annually, and any changes notified to clients. In addition to the rates above, VAT is charged at the rate applicable, currently 20%.

In order to provide a cost and time efficient service, the majority of the routine work on estates is carried out by paralegals and junior solicitors and is supervised by more senior colleagues some of the team members are affiliate members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and/or Solicitors for the Elderly.

The key stages of the work involved in administering an estate are as follows:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Valuing the assets and liabilities in the estate;
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Valuing the assets and liabilities in the estate;
  • Completion of the relevant HMRC inheritance and income tax forms and payment of tax;
  • Completion of the Probate Registry forms, affidavits and statements necessary to apply for a Grant of Representation;
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtaining the Grant of Representation;
  • Collecting in the assets of the estate;
  • Settling any debts and liabilities of the estate;
  • Preparation of estate accounts; and Distribution of the assets thereafter.


The average timescales vary depending on the complexity of the application but a typical and straightforward estate will take 3-6 months to obtain the Grant of Representation, collecting and distributing the assets will usually take a further 3-6 months.

We anticipate that the usual timescale is normally 6 to 12 months but there are a number of factors which affect both overall cost and timescale for the administration of the estate. Delays can arise if the will is lost or needs to be located, intestacy (death without a will) can further complicate matters, the size of the estate ie whether or not inheritance tax is payable and the nature and number of assets comprised in the estate can also have an impact.

Sometimes beneficiaries are not easy to trace and if there is a property in the estate the sale of this property can pose difficulties. It is therefore difficult for us to give an accurate estimate of the costs involved and the timescale without an initial face to face or telephone meeting where we can take more detailed information from you.

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. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are a maximum of 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
  • If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs and we cannot provide an estimate for litigious or contested estates
  • 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


For very simple UK estates with a Valid Will, fewer than 5 beneficiaries, assets of less than £150,000 consisting of a residential property and less than 5 bank accounts we would estimate our time to begin at 10 to 15 hours work and our costs to be in the region of £3,000 – £5,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

Simple UK estate over £150,000 to £1 million and no inheritance tax to pay, few beneficiaries, small number of UK assets including one residential property we would anticipate costs of approximately £5,000 – £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

We can offer a fixed fee for these type of simple UK estates and our initial fixed fee based on the above two scenarios would be £1750 plus VAT and the Probate Registry fee disbursement detailed below.

Complex Inheritance tax liability, may contain business assets with estate worth over £325,000, wide variety of assets and one or more properties, number of legacies, may require claims for reliefs to be made and other reporting requirements we would usually estimate a starting point at £10,000 rising to circa £45,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

Highly complex estates but with foreign assets or beneficiaries, or the UK estate of a non-domiciled individual would begin at £20,000 rising to £75,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

There are a number of issues or additional pieces of work which can arise during or out of estate administration which will incur additional costs and mean the timescale for completion will be affected.

If any of these points arise during the course of the matter, we will contact you and agree a costs estimate and give a likely timescale to deal with the issues. Typical issue (but not limited to):

  • Investigation into the estate by the Department of Work and Pensions. This is automatic where a deceased person has been in receipt of Pension Credit or any means tested benefit prior to their death;
  • Missing beneficiaries;
  • Missing assets;
  • Problems with overseas assets;
  • Complex assets such as publishing or intellectual property rights;
  • Disagreements between executors and/or beneficiaries;
  • Claims brought against the estate;
  • Claims pursued on behalf of the estate to recover assets;
  • Complex tax issues;
  • Variations or alterations to the terms of the Will, intestacy or any trusts arising under the Will;
  • Establishment and administration of an ongoing Will trust;
  • Additional tax planning advice for beneficiaries of the estate.

Disbursements included (where applicable VAT is included at 20%) these are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Probate Registry application fee of £273
  • Land Registry fees for obtaining title copies of a property are £6.00 (Title register) and £2.00 (Title plan)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches are £2.00 per beneficiary
  • £125 plus VAT for a s27 Trustee Act Notice into The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors of the estate
  • Approx £100 plus VAT for a s27 Trustee Act Notice into a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims against the estate

Additional costs for ID verification are as follows:

  • Anti Money Laundering and ID verification checks- £10 plus VAT per name