Probate Pricing

Here at Lichfield Reynolds LLP, we know that not all probate matters are the same and therefore we are happy to give an estimate of costs once we know the specific details of your case. The costs involved do depend on a number of matters such as the size of the Estate, the number of beneficiaries involved, whether Inheritance Tax is payable, if any exemptions need to be applied when dealing with the Inheritance Tax forms and the amount of work involved.

Some clients are happy to deal with the administration of the Estate themselves and only require our legal assistance with the Probate application. Whereas others prefer everything to be dealt with on their behalf. We offer various different options and are happy to give a quotation for your specific case. Please contact either Natalie or Zoe on 01782 313212 to discuss your requirements.

In addition to legal costs, disbursements would also be payable and the possible additional payments to third parties could include: -

  • Probate application fee of £155.00 which includes one sealed copy. Additional sealed copies are charged at £1.50 per copy
  • S27 notices in the London Gazette and local press (if required) £300 approximately (an accurate quotation would be obtained)
  • Office copies to prove ownership of property £3.00 per property
  • Certainty Will search to confirm if the Executor has the latest Will £90.00 plus VAT
  • Certainty Will search where there is no Will in the region of £199.00 plus VAT
  • Bankruptcy searches £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Assent fee where a property is to be transferred to a beneficiary £40.00

If a property is to be sold and the funds added to the Estate then additional conveyancing fees will be incurred and quoted for separately.

 

Probate application only

If the Executors of a Will only require legal assistance in the obtaining the Grant of Probate then our legal fees are fixed at £500.00 plus VAT and disbursements in the region of £158 for the Probate Court fee. This is for matters where no inheritance tax is payable and no exemptions need to be applied. The timescale for completion would be around 2 to 3 months.

This fee includes:

  • obtaining the date of death balances of all assets and liabilities from the Executors
  • completing form IHT205 and probate application for signature by the Executors.
  • submitting the probate application to the Probate Registry and dealing with any enquiries.
  • upon receipt of the Grant of Probate sending this to the Executors to enable them to administer the Estate and deal with the terms of the Will.

If the Executors require this service but Inheritance Tax is payable or exemptions need to be applied then additional work is required and different inheritance forms may need to be completed. In this case, our legal fees would be in the region of £750.00 to £1,000.00 dependant on the assets, exemptions to be applied and the forms required. A clear indication of costs would be provided once we have the specific details of your case. The timescale for completion of the work would be around 3 to 4 months which would not include waiting for clearance from the tax office, which can take up to 12 months.

This fee includes:

  • obtaining the date of date balances of all assets and liabilities from the Executors.
  • completing IHT400 together with supplemental forms and applying any exemptions if applicable. Preparing the Probate application and arranging for all forms to be signed by the Executors.
  • completing additional forms to arrange settlement of any inheritance tax payable from the assets where applicable.
  • submitting the IHT400 to the tax office. Upon receipt of the stamped summary forwarding the Probate application to the Probate Registry.
  • dealing with any queries from the Probate Registry and tax office.
  • upon receipt of the Grant of Probate sending this to the Executors to enable them to administer the Estate and advising them in relation to waiting for clearance from the Tax office before distributing to ensure any inheritance liabilities have been fully settled.

In both of these examples the Executors would be advised to have a Certainty Will search at an additional cost of £90 plus VAT.

Probate applications and administration of the Estate

Some Executors prefer to hand over the probate application and administration to Solicitors for everything to be completed on their behalf. We would be happy to give a clear estimate of costs once we know the specific details of your case. A few examples of our fees are as follows.

Grant application and administration where no inheritance is payable

In this case, the deceased left a Will and there were two executors, three residuary beneficiaries, one property to be transferred to one beneficiary under the Will, two bank accounts and a life policy. Our total fees were £1750 plus VAT and disbursements of £108 Will Search fee, £158 court fee, £6 bankruptcy search fees and £40 Assent fee. The timescale for completion was around 6 months.

These fees included:

  • taking instructions from the Executors and obtaining information about the various assets and liabilities.
  • completing Certainty Will search to ensure the Executors had the last Will of the deceased.
  • contacting all the relevant companies to obtain date of death balances for all assets and liabilities as at the date of death.
  • writing to all beneficiaries to advise of their entitlement and ensuring up to date contact details obtained.
  • completing form IHT205 and probate application for signature by the Executors. Also completing claim forms to cash in/transfer various assets.
  • submitting the probate application to the Probate Registry and dealing with any enquiries.
  • upon receipt of the grant arranging for the various assets to be cashed in.
  • preparing Estate and Distribution Accounts for approval by the Executors and sending for signature together with the Assent to transfer the property to the named beneficiary under the terms of the Will.
  • completing bankruptcy searches against all beneficiaries and once completed and the accounts approved by the Executors, arranging payment to the beneficiaries and the Assent sent to the Land Registry so that the property can be registered in the name of the new legal owner.

In this case, the Executors did not wish to have S27 notices and there was no requirement to wait 6 months from the date of the grant. We would advise you in relation to these matters.

Grant application and administration no inheritance tax payable - the more complex estate

In this case, the deceased left a Will and there were two Executors, five residuary beneficiaries, 10 legatees, one property to sold, six bank accounts, two investments and various shares. An additional inheritance tax allowance was transferrable from the deceased's late husband. Our total fees were in the region of £2750 to £3,000 plus VAT and disbursements of £108 Will Search fee, £160 court fee, £300 approximately S27 notices, £30 bankruptcy search fees. The timescale for completion was around 9 to 12 months.

These fees included:

  • taking instructions from the Executors and obtaining information about the various assets and liabilities.
  • completing Certainty Will search to ensure the Executors had the last Will of the deceased.
  • contacting all the relevant companies to obtain date of death balances for all assets and liabilities as at the date of death.
  • contacting all utility providers to register the death and ensuring all correspondence sent to us. Notifying the house insurance provider that the property was now unoccupied (this may result in a further premium payable by the estate)
  • arranging settlement of the funeral invoice from one of the deceased's bank accounts.
  • writing to all beneficiaries to advise of their entitlement and ensuring up to date contact details obtained.
  • completing form IHT205 together with a nil rate band claim form to apply an additional IHT tax threshold and probate application for signature by the Executors. Also completing claim forms to cash in the various assets.
  • submitting the probate application to the Probate Registry and dealing with any enquiries.
  • arranging for S27 notices to be placed in the local press and London Gazette on the instruction of the Executors.
  • upon receipt of the Grant arranging for the various assets to be cashed in.
  • corresponding with our conveyancing team and upon completion of the sale of the property arranging for all utility accounts to be closed and any final bills settled.
  • preparing Estate and Distribution Accounts for approval by the Executors.
  • completing bankruptcy searches against all beneficiaries and arranging payment to the beneficiaries.

Grant application and administration where inheritance tax is payable

In this case, the deceased left a Will, there was two Executors, two beneficiaries, various bank accounts, property and shares. There was a small amount of inheritance tax payable after claiming a transferable nil rate band and residence nil rate band. Our total fees were £3,250 plus VAT and disbursements of £108 Will search fee, £160 Court fee, £300 approximately for S27 notices, £4.00 bankruptcy search fees. The timescale for completion was around 12 months which was when clearance was obtained from the tax office.

These fees included:

  • taking instructions from the Executors and obtaining information about the various assets and liabilities.
  • completing Certainty Will search to ensure the Executors had the last Will of the deceased.
  • contacting all the relevant companies to obtain date of death balances for all assets and liabilities as at the date of death.
  • contacting all utility providers to register the death and ensuring all correspondence sent to us. Notifying the house insurance provider that the property was now unoccupied (this may result in a further premium payable by the estate)
  • arranging settlement of the funeral invoice from one of the deceased's bank accounts.
  • completing form IHT400 and supplemental forms together with a nil rate band claim form and residence nil rate band claim form to apply an additional IHT tax threshold and probate application for signature by the Executors. Also completing claim forms to cash in the various assets.
  • arranging for forms to be completed and signed by the Executors to enable the inheritance tax liability to be paid direct from the deceased's bank accounts.
  • submitting the probate application to the Probate Registry and dealing with any enquiries.
  • arranging for S27 notices to be placed in the local press and London Gazette on the instruction of the Executors.
  • upon receipt of the Grant arranging for the various assets to be cashed in.
  • corresponding with our conveyancing team and upon completion of the sale of the property arranging for all utility accounts to be closed and any final bills settled.
  • completing bankruptcy searches against all beneficiaries and arranging an interim payment to the beneficiaries whilst awaiting clearance from the tax office.
  • subsequently receiving tax clearance and preparing Estate and Distribution Accounts for approval by the Executors. Subsequently making final payments.

Grant application and administration where there is no Will

In this case, the deceased did not leave a Will and we were instructed by one of the deceased's cousins who agreed to act as an Administrator. The deceased had six bank accounts and a life policy. Our total fees were in the region of £2500 plus VAT and disbursements of £199 Will Search fee, £158 court fee, S27 notice in local press in the region of £200, £26 bankruptcy search fees. The timescale for completion was around 9 to 12 months. In addition to our legal fees, genealogists were instructed who produced the family tree which resulted in 13 beneficiaries some receiving different shares depending on their position under the rules of intestacy. Missing beneficiary was also obtained at a cost to the Estate.

These fees included:

  • taking instructions from the Administrator and obtaining information about the various assets and liabilities.
  • completing Certainty Will search to try and locate any missing Will. This search included the S27 notice on the London Gazette and obtaining a missing beneficiary quotation.
  • instructing genealogists
  • contacting all the relevant companies to obtain date of death balances for all assets and liabilities as at the date of death.
  • writing to all beneficiaries once located by genealogists to advise of their entitlement and option to act as a co-administrator.
  • completing form IHT205 and probate application for signature by the Administrator. Also completing claim forms to cash in/transfer various assets.
  • submitting the probate application to the Probate Registry and dealing with any enquiries.
  • placing S27 notice in the local press.
  • upon receipt of the Grant arranging for the various assets to be cashed in.
  • arranging missing beneficiary insurance on the instruction of the Administrator.
  • calculating percentages due to the various beneficiaries under the rules of intestacy. Preparing Estate and Distribution Accounts for approval by the Administrator.
  • Upon receipt of approved accounts, completing bankruptcy searches and arranging for payment to the beneficiaries.

As you will see from the examples above, all probate matters are different and we would be more than happy to discuss your requirements with you and provide a free no obligation quotation specific to your requirements.