Wills, Probate and Administration of Estates
Our Charges for Wills and Probate
Harold Pluss is our Senior Wills advisor. Our normal fee for the preparation of a single Will is £325.00 plus VAT and our normal fee for two mirror image Wills for a couple is £550.00 plus VAT. Detailed extra Inheritance Tax advice or inclusion of special Trusts in a Will would involve an additional fee to be discussed and agreed where a client requires this.
Probate (This includes cases where there is no Will and Letters of Administration are obtained instead)
Roma Paluch and Harold Pluss advise in Probate and Administration of Estates. Our Probate team has substantial experience in advising in all matters relating to the administration of Estates. They are assisted by Barbara Jasnikowska.
Our Probate fee for dealing with the administration of the Estate from start to finish is normally based on the value of the net Estate (we usually propose 3% of the value of the Estate plus VAT where Inheritance Tax is payable). We consider the overall value of the net Estate, the need for IHT mitigation to be examined and the number of home and overseas beneficiaries involved. For lower value Estates or for Estates where the amount of time required and legal responsibility involved is hard to determine at the outset, we may propose charging at an hourly rate (currently £225.00 per hour of Solicitors’ time engaged plus VAT).
Where our work is limited to obtaining the Grant of Probate, we would normally charge £3,000.00 plus VAT where no Inheritance Tax is payable and £5,000.00 plus VAT where the longer form of Inheritance Tax Return (IHT400 and supporting Schedules) is required. The longer form would be required in cases where Inheritance Tax is payable or because there is an unusual aspect to the Estate such as foreign property or a large lifetime gift made by the deceased. HMRC rules mean that submission of this longer form of Inheritance Tax return is then required.
The following fixed expenses normally apply in addition to the solicitor’s charges:
• Probate application fee of £273.00.
• Official Copy of the Grant of Probate – £1.50 per copy.
• Bankruptcy Land Charges searches (£2.00 per beneficiary).
• Advertisement in The London Gazette and in a local newspaper to protect the Executor from becoming personally liable for any unknown debts of the Estate. The cost of both advertisements is normally £200.00 to £250.00.
Our conveyancing department would be happy to act in connection with the sale of any property in the estate. Our normal conveyancing charges will apply – please see the conveyancing section of our website.
How long does the Administration of the Estate take?
Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 3 to 6 months. Collecting assets then follows, which on average takes about 3 to 6 weeks. We then distribute the assets to the beneficiaries; we aim to make a distribution of at least one half of the benefit due to beneficiaries within 1-3 weeks of receiving funds but the balancing final distribution (after all beneficiaries approve the Estate Account, all relevant tax clearances have been obtained and applicable statutory time limits for claims against the estate have passed) may mean it is safest for an Executor to wait until six months after the date of issue of the Grant of Probate before authorising us to make the final payments.