Probate & Estate administration

We offer considerate and expert personal help with the legal aspects of dealing with probate and administration of estates.

Our approach is to respond sensitively to individual family circumstances, providing help in a timely and proportionate manner.  This may focus on specific aspects of the process, such as applying for a Grant of Probate through to a full service including initial help and advice at time of bereavement, collecting in, administering and distributing an estate.

Our Legal Charges

Recognising that a time of bereavement can be emotional and stressful, our priority is to assist sensitively and professionally with the process of dealing with a person’s estate.   We can help with all or part of the process from applying for a grant of probate through to the complete administration of the estate.   

Our guideline charges are:-

Grant of Probate: £500-£1,000 (plus VAT@20% & Disbursements), including:- 

  • an experienced solicitor  to be your key contact and work on your matter;
  • identification of executors/administrators and beneficiaries;
  • obtaining all relevant information to apply for probate;
  • completion of probate application and relevant HMRC forms;
  • preparation of executor’s statement in support of the application;
  • submission of application to Probate Registry; and
  • obtaining the Grant of Probate.

Estate Administration following Grant: £500-£1,500 (plus VAT@20% & Disbursements), including:-

  • registration of Grant with financial institutions such as banks, buildings societies, etc.;
  • preparation of all account closure forms and other relevant documentation;
  • collecting in the estate assets;
  • transferring accounts or investments to beneficiaries as required;
  • preparation of estate accounts for the approval of the executors and main beneficiaries;
  • distribution of estate assets in accordance with Will;
  • providing key documents to the executors when the administration is concluded.

These above estimates are based on there being:-

  • a valid Will;
  • an estate comprising a single residential property and  up to 5 bank or building society accounts with no other significant assets;
  • up to 6 beneficiaries;
  • no disputes arising between beneficiaries and/or executors;
  • no Inheritance Tax to pay and HMRC having no need for a full account;
  • no claims arising against the estate;
  • no need for tax returns to be prepared for the deceased.

Our legal charges in a individual matter will depend on the particular circumstances of the estate.  For example, an estate with as surviving spouse and no property to sell or transfer is likely to at the lower end of the above guidelines.   

We are happy to provide individual quotations on request: email or telephone us on 0118 939 3999 and speak with a solicitor on our Probate team.  

When instructed, we will also confirm in writing our estimate and keep you updated during the course of the matter on the work done and our charges.  In the unlikely event that these may exceed our original estimate (eg. due to unforeseen complications arising during the process), we will inform you as early as possible and provide a revised estimate.

Potential additional costs

If there is no Will or the estate includes investments in the for of stocks & shares then there is likely to be additional charges;  these will depend principally on the value and complexity of the estate and how it is to be dealt with.  We can provide you with a more accurate estimate once we have more information.

The conveyancing work involved in dealing with the sale or transfer of any house or other land (freehold or leasehold) property in the estate will be in addition to the above guideline charges.  Again, we are happy to provide advance estimates of our charge (see the Conveyancing Section of our website for further details).

Payments to Third Parties (Disbursements)

Disbursements are payments which we make on your behalf as part of the overall process.  These  depend upon the individual circumstances of the estate, but may include, for example:-

  • Probate Court Fees: currently £158 (to include 6 copies of the Grant);
  • Official Bankruptcy Search fees if require:, currently £2 per person;  and
  • if required to protect against expected claims from unknown creditors, Trustee Act Advertisements in the London Gazette and local newspaper: £225 - £300 depending upon newspaper rates.

Hourly rates

The above guidelines are based on the hourly rates of our specialist lawyers who have the following hourly rates plus VAT @ 20% in each case:

Partner:                        £260  

Assistant Solicitor:          £180

Legal Executive:             £160

Paralegal:                      £120

Timescale

On average, the administration of estates falling within the above guideline range is concluded within 12-20 weeks. Typically obtaining a Grant of Probate takes 6-8 weeks and the subsequent administration of the estate another 6 -12 weeks.