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Our Fees: Uncontested Probate

We understand that losing a loved one can be a difficult time.

Our professional Probate team are on hand to help you administer an estate as soon as you need us.  We can assist you on a Grant only basis or deal with the full administration of the estate including assisting with funeral arrangements, notifying banks and other relevant parties, as well as calculating Inheritance Tax (if applicable), applying for the Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration), preparing estate accounts and distributing the estate.

We aim to make every stage of the process as straightforward as possible, communicate clearly with you and reassure you at every stage.

Where an estate is uncontested and all assets are in the UK then the following pricing models apply. VAT will be charged on our fees at the prevailing rate, currently 20%.

 

1 Acting on a Grant Only basis (non-taxable estate)

We can act for Executors (where there is a Will) or Administrators (where there is no Will) and assist you to apply for the Grant of Representation to the estate.

What does the service include?

  • Initial meeting with you.
  • Advising you on the process and identifying the type of Probate application you require.
  • Drafting a Schedule of Assets and Liabilities based on the valuations of the deceased’s estate (provided by you).
  • Preparation of the IHT application and legal statement.
  • Applying to the Court to obtain the Grant.

How much does this service cost?

We set our own legal costs at a fixed fee.

Grant Only (non-taxable) Fixed Fee VAT
Our Legal Fees £800 plus VAT (currently 20%)

Legal

Disbursements are payable in addition to this.  Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements

  • Probate Court fee: £273 (no VAT)
  • Sealed copy fee: £1.50 each (no VAT)
  • UK Bankruptcy Search: £2.00 (per deceased/Executor/Administrator) (no VAT)
  • Swear fee: £5.00 / £7.00 per person, if applicable (no VAT)

Please note that any conveyancing fees in relation to property that falls within the estate is dealt with separately. The fees are dependent upon whether the Property is registered or unregistered, freehold or leasehold property. Please refer to our cost estimate page for conveyancing matters.

Key stages and timescales

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 8-10 weeks.

Stage 1 – (2 weeks)
  • Conflict of interest check
  • Initial meeting with Executors/Administrators
  • Anti-Money Laundering Identity checks
  • Details provided by Executors/Administrators regarding Assets and Liabilities of estate
  • Advice provided by lawyer and confirmed in writing regarding next steps.
Stage 2 – (4-8 weeks)
  • Preparation of the draft Oath, IHT 205 and schedule of assets and liabilities
  • Provide this above to the Executors/Administrators for approval and swearing
  • Thereafter necessary Grant paperwork sent to Probate Registry to issue the Grant of Representation

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2 Acting on a Grant Only basis (taxable estate)

We can act for Executors (where there is a Will) or Administrators (where there is no Will) and assist you to apply for the Grant of Representation to the estate.

What does the service include?

  • Initial meeting with you.
  • Advising you on the process and identifying the type of Probate application you require.
  • Drafting a Schedule of Assets and Liabilities based on the valuations of the deceased’s estate (provided by you).
  • Preparation of HMRC forms and payment of tax.
  • Preparation of the IHT400 and legal statement.
  • Applying to the Court to obtain the Grant.

How much does this service cost?

We set our own legal costs at a fixed fee.

Grant Only (taxable estate) Fixed Fee VAT
Our Legal Fees £1,200 plus VAT (currently 20%)

Legal

Disbursements are payable in addition to this.  Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements

  • Probate Court fee: £273 (no VAT)
  • Sealed copy fee: £1.50 each (no VAT)
  • UK Bankruptcy Search: £2.00 (per deceased/Executor/Administrator) (no VAT)
  • Swear fee: £5.00 / £7.00 per person, if applicable (no VAT)

Please note that any conveyancing fees in relation to property that falls within the estate is dealt with separately. The fees are dependent upon whether the Property is registered or unregistered, freehold or leasehold property. Please refer to our cost estimate page for conveyancing matters.

Key stages and timescales

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 8-10 weeks.

Stage 1 – (3-6 months)
  • Conflict of interest check
  • Initial meeting with Executors/Administrators
  • Anti-Money Laundering Identity checks
  • Details provided by Executors/Administrators regarding Assets and Liabilities of estate
  • Advice provided by lawyer and confirmed in writing regarding next steps.
  • Preparation of schedule of assets and liabilities and calculating the tax liability for the estate.
  • Liaising with HMRC and dealing with payment of IHT. 
  • Preparation of draft legal statement and IHT400
  • Provision of the above to the Executors/Administrators for approval and swearing
Stage 2 (6-9 months)
  • Thereafter necessary Grant paperwork sent to Probate Registry to issue the Grant of Representation

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3 Full administration of the Estate (non-taxable estate)

We can assist with the full administration of the estate where no tax is payable.

What does the service include?

We would deal with the full process on the Executors/Administrators behalf including the distribution of the estate.

How much does the service cost?

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter, for example estates involving one beneficiary and no property are likely to be at the lower end of the range. Those involving multiple beneficiaries multiple financial assets and property are likely to be at the higher end of the range.

Our costs are based on the time we spend dealing with your matter and will be charged on an hourly rate.  Our team’s hourly rates are set out below:-

Team Member Position Hourly Rate VAT
Catrin Reed Associate Solicitor – Head of Private Client £255.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)
Amy Thomas Associate Solicitor £218.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)
Danielle Jameson Probate Practitioner £177.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)
Emma Taylor Trainee Solicitor £120.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)

Legal

We estimate that on average it will take our team approximately 30-50 hours. In addition, there will be disbursements payable as set out below.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter payable to third parties. These are likely to include but are not limited to:-

  • Probate Court fee: £273 (no VAT)
  • Sealed copy fee: £1.50 each (no VAT)
  • Swearing fee (Per Executor/Administrator): £5.00/£7.00) if applicable (no VAT)
  • UK Bankruptcy search (Executor, deceased and beneficiary): £2.00 each (no VAT)
  • Statutory Advertisements: £250 – £270 (plus VAT currently at 20%)
  • Landmark Search: £155 (plus VAT currently at 20%)
  • Estate agents valuation of property: £60 – £100 each (plus VAT currently at 20%)
  • Accountants fees (If income tax/capital gains tax issue):   TBC depending on complexity of estate (plus VAT currently at 20%)

Services not included in costs quoted above

Please note that any conveyancing fees in relation to property that falls within the estate is dealt with separately. The fees are dependent upon whether the Property is registered or unregistered, freehold or leasehold property. Please refer to our cost estimate page for conveyancing matters

Please note: the above quote is for estates where there is:

  • A valid will or intestacy where all beneficiaries are identified and no genealogists involvement
  • There is no more than one property
  • The estate is not contested and all assets are based in the UK
  • There is no Inheritance tax to pay and no requirement to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries regarding the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.

Key stages and timescales

We would anticipate that the process would take between 9-12 months

Stage 1 – 6-12 weeks
  • Conflict of interest check
  • Initial meeting with Executors/Administrators
  • Anti-Money Laundering Identity checks
  • Details provided of all known assets and liabilities taken for lawyer to contact for date of death valuations
  • Contact all asset and liability holders and relevant bodies to include HMRC/DWP and await responses
  • Arrange Estate Agents valuation(s) for Property ( as applicable)
  • Place relevant advertisements to establish unclaimed assets (Landmark Search)
Stage 2 – 4-6 weeks
  • Prepare relevant Oath, IHT 205
  • Prepare schedule of assets and liabilities to provide to Executors/Administrators.
  • Once approved by Executors/Administrators appointment made to swear necessary paperwork to apply for Grant
Stage 3 – 4 – 6 weeks
  • Once documentation approved, appointment scheduled to attend Solicitors and swear necessary paperwork (if applicable).
  • Thereafter relevant Grant documentation sent to Probate registry and await issue of Grant of Representation.
Stage 4 – 4 – 8 weeks
  • Once Grant received, lawyer sends to all relevant institutions to collect in assets of the estate ( or deal with transfer if applicable.)
  • Six month period for claims to be made under The Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975 begins from date Grant issued ( IPFDA Claims). Those persons who feel they have a claim against the estate may lodge a claim.
  • Property placed on open market ( if applicable)
  • Statutory Advertisements to Creditors placed – 2 month waiting period to expire.
  • Beneficiaries to the Estate under the Will/Intestacy contacted and identification/certificates requested
Stage 5 – 6-10 weeks
  • Once sufficient assets in the estate are realised, Lawyers first interim bill raised and proceeds paid (usually) from estate
  • Draft Estate accounts prepared for approval of Executors/ Administrators
  • Liabilities to the estate paid
Stage 6 – 2 – 6 weeks
  • Income tax position of the estate finalised (liaising with HMRC/Accountant as applicable)
  • Ensure the 6 month IPFDA Claim period passed and no notifications, provided property sold (or transferred as applicable) and all liabilities and utility bills paid – Lawyer produces the final Estate Accounts for Executors/Administrators approval.
  • Final Lawyers invoice produced
  • Once Estate Accounts approved and sufficient documentation from all beneficiaries, distribution made in accordance with terms of the Will or intestacy rules.

Please note that the above timescales are dependent upon third parties claims under IPFDA.

______________

4 Full administration of the Estate (taxable estate)

We can assist with the full administration of the estate where tax is payable.

What does the service include?

We are able to deal with the full process on the Executors/Administrators behalf including liaising with HMRC regarding the payment of Inheritance Tax.

How much does the service cost?

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter, for example estates involving one beneficiary and no property are likely to be at the lower end of the range. Those involving multiple beneficiaries multiple financial assets and properties are likely to be at the higher end of the range.

Our costs are based on the time we spend dealing with your matter and will be charged on an hourly rate.  Our team’s hourly rates are set out below:-

Team Member Position Hourly Rate VAT
Catrin Reed Associate Solicitor – Head of Private Client £255.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)
Amy Thomas Associate Solicitor £218.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)
Danielle Jameson Probate Practitioner £177.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)
Emma Taylor Trainee Solicitor £120.00 plus VAT (currently 20%)

Legal

We estimate that on average it will take our team approximately 50-70 hours. In addition, there will be disbursements payable as set out below.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter payable to third parties. These are likely to include but are not limited to:-

  • Probate Court Fee: £273 (no VAT)
  • Sealed copy fee: £1.50 each (no VAT)
  • Swear fee: (Per Executor/Administrator) £5.00/£7.00) if applicable (no VAT)
  • UK Bankruptcy search: (Executor, deceased and beneficiary) £2.00 each (no VAT)
  • Statutory Advertisements: £250 – £270 (plus VAT at 20%)
  • Landmark Search: £155 (plus VAT at 20%)
  • Estate agents valuation of property: £60 – £100 each (plus VAT at 20%)
  • Accountants fees:(If income tax/capital gains tax issue) TBC depending on complexity of estate (plus VAT at 20%)
  • RICS Property valuation: (each property) £300-£500 (plus VAT at 20%)

Services not included in costs quoted above

Please note that any conveyancing fees in relation to property that falls within the estate is dealt with separately. The fees are dependent upon whether the Property is registered or unregistered, freehold or leasehold property. Please refer to our cost estimate page for conveyancing matters

Please note: The above quote is for estates where there is:

  • A valid will (or intestacy where all beneficiaries are identified and no genealogists involvement)
  • There is no more than three properties
  • The estate is not contested and all assets are based in the UK
  • There is Inheritance tax to pay and a requirement to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries regarding the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
  • All assets are located in the UK

Key stages and timescales

We would anticipate that the process would take between 18-24 months.

Stage 1 – 6-12 weeks
  • Conflict of interest check
  • Initial meeting with Executors/Administrators
  • Anti-Money Laundering Identity checks
  • Details provided of all known assets and liabilities taken for lawyer to contact for date of death valuations
  • Contact all asset and liability holders and relevant bodies to include HMRC/DWP and await responses
  • Arrange RICS Professional Valuation of the property (properties)
  • Place relevant advertisements to establish unclaimed assets (Landmark Search)
Stage 2 – 4 – 6 weeks
  • Subject to adequate replies above, prepare relevant Oath, IHT 400 (Full Inheritance Tax account to HMRC)
  • Prepare schedule of assets and liabilities to provide to Executors/Administrators.
  • Once approved appointment made to swear necessary paperwork to apply for Grant
Stage 3 – 4 – 6 weeks
  • Once Probate documentation approved, appointment scheduled to attend Solicitors and swear necessary paperwork, if applicable.
  • Tax documentation sent to HMRC.
  • Liaise with financial institutions (Or Executors/Administrators as applicable) to arrange payment of first instalment of Inheritance Tax.
Stage 4 – 4 – 6 weeks
  • Once HMRC have issued IHT421 receipt, sent to Probate registry together with Oath (and Will if applicable) to issue Grant of Representation to the Estate.
Stage 5 – 4 – 8 weeks
  • Once Grant received, lawyer sends to all relevant institutions to collect in assets of the estate ( or deal with transfer if applicable)
  • Six month period for claims to be made under The Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975 begins from date Grant issued ( IPFDA Claims). Those persons who feel they have a claim against the estate may lodge a claim.
  • Property placed on open market ( if applicable)
  • Statutory Advertisements to Creditors placed – 2 month waiting period to expire.
  • Beneficiaries to the Estate under the Will/Intestacy contacted and identification/certificates requested
Stage 6 – 6-10 weeks
  • Once sufficient assets in the estate are realised, Lawyers first interim bill raised and proceeds paid (usually) from estate
  • Draft Estate accounts prepared for approval of Executors/ Administrators
  • Liabilities to the estate paid ( including next instalments of IHT if applicable)
Stage 6 – 6-12 weeks (dependent upon assets and queries raised by HMRC)
  • Income tax position of the estate finalised (liaising with HMRC/Accountant as applicable)
  • Ensure the 6 month IPFDA Claim period passed and no notifications, Provided property sold ( or transferred as applicable) and all liabilities and utility bills paid – Lawyer produces the final Estate Accounts for Executors/Administrators approval.
  • Final Lawyers invoice produced
Stage 7 – 4- 8 weeks (dependent upon third parties claims)
  • Once Estate Accounts approved and sufficient documentation from all beneficiaries, distribution made in accordance with terms of the Will or intestacy rules.

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Our Team

Name  Title  Qualifications  Experience 
Catrin Reed Associate Solicitor – Head of Private Client Team 

(Supervisor) 

Solicitor (admitted 2015) Catrin deals with all matters, including complex Wills to include Discretionary Trusts, Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief.  She also deals with Lasting Powers of Attorney, Lifetime Trusts, Estate Planning and Deeds of Variation.
Amy Thomas  Associate Solicitor  Solicitor (admitted 2018)  Amy assist clients in a range of Later Life matters and has gained significant experience in Will drafting including Right of Occupation and also prepares and advises in relation to Deeds of Variation, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate (both grant only and  full administration). 
Danielle Jameson  Probate Practitioner  CILEX Probate Practitioner (admitted 2021) She deals with Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate matters and Deeds of Variation.
Emma Taylor  Trainee Solicitor  Emma assists on all matters under the supervision of Catrin Reed.

more information

 

For more information on Watkins & Gunn Probate services & to meet our team of expert lawyers, click here.

 

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