Our probate fees and processes explained

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Fees for probate service

As accountants, our invoicing is based on the work done and not the value of the estate, which could lead to substantial savings.

Sunil Ghela  who undertakes the majority of the work has a charge out rate of £300 per hour and Peter McMahon, our Probate Partner, who reviews every case before being signed by the executor/executrix has a charge out rate of £525 per hour.

To give you an overview of our fees and the processes involved when undertaking our work we have put together some representative examples.

Basic probate service

Most commonly, executors approach us to deal with the Inheritance Tax forms and probate application which is our basic service and this involves the following:

  • Identifying and establishing the extent of the estate for probate and Inheritance Tax purposes
  • Arranging for the assets and liabilities of the estate to be valued
  • Preparing the appropriate Inheritance Tax form and other legal documents to obtain the grant of probate or, where there is no Will, letters of administration
  • Making the application for grant of probate or letters of administration
  • Filing the Inheritance Tax form with HMRC and liaising with them on their enquiries
  • Obtaining tax clearance from HMRC for Inheritance Tax and, where appropriate, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax

How much does a basic service cost?

We provide a tailored service which assists executors in gathering the information to complete the Inheritance Tax return which can significantly reduce the cost to the estate. We usually can provide estimated fees at the initial meeting depending on the extent of the involvement of the executor and the complexity of the estate.

Dealing with the above aspects for an estate that has a Will, a property, two bank accounts and three liabilities, the estimated cost will be from £3,500, plus disbursements, plus VAT. Currently, the disbursements are 3.5% of the fee.

Comprehensive probate service

We also provide a comprehensive probate service and this involves the following:

  • Advising on the Inheritance Tax efficiency of the estate
  • Identifying and establishing the extent of the estate for probate and Inheritance Tax purposes
  • Arranging for the assets and liabilities of the estate to be valued
  • Preparing the appropriate Inheritance Tax form and other legal documents to obtain the grant of probate or, where there is no Will, letters of administration
  • Making the application for grant of probate or letters of administration
  • Filing the Inheritance Tax form with HMRC and liaising with them on their enquiries
  • Obtaining tax clearance from HMRC for Inheritance Tax and where appropriate, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax
  • Collecting in the assets and settling the liabilities of the estate
  • Preparing estate accounts
  • Distribution of the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or in the absence of a Will, the laws of intestacy

How much does a comprehensive service cost?

The estimated cost with the provision of the comprehensive service commences from £7,500 plus disbursements, plus VAT and the exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the estate. Quotes for work undertaken are provided once details of the estate and the services we are to provide are known.

Disbursement fees

Disbursements are costs relating to the estate that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Therefore, in addition to our fees there are following payments:

  • Probate Registry Fee at £273 plus £1.50 per sealed copy of the grant requested at the same time as the application. The Probate Registry Fee quoted is applicable from 26 January 2022 and is subject to change in the future
  • If we are undertaking the sale of assets there will be additional costs e.g. property sale, share sale, house clearance etc
  • Beneficiary bankruptcy searches
  • The London Gazette Statutory Notice to unknown creditors
  • Statutory Notice to unknown creditors in the newspaper local to the deceased is typically around £150 to £200, but dependent on the locality of the deceased’s property

If you have any queries about our fees or the processes involved in our probate services, please speak to us.