Fees

Wills

Our fees for Wills start from:-

Single: £105.00 (plus VAT of £21.00) (£126.00)
Joint: £165.00 (plus VAT of £33.00) (£198.00)

Most of our Wills are dealt with for these fixed prices, however if the Will is more complex or requires additional documents to be prepared, the costs increase. The estimated costs for your Will(s) are therefore agreed with you at the first meeting.

Additional works:-

Sometimes, to carry out your requirements under your Will, further works are necessary to amend/update your title deeds to your property.  These are generally as follows:-

Severance of Joint Tenancy: £75.00 (plus VAT of £15.00) plus Land Registry fees (£90.00)
Transfer a Property to  Joint Tenancy: £95.00 (plus VAT of £19.00) plus Land Registry fees (£114.00)

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Single (either Property & Finances or Health & Welfare): £300.00 (plus VAT of £60.00) plus £82.00 registration fee (£360.00)
Both (Property & Finances and Health & Welfare): £500.00 (plus VAT of £100.00) plus 2 x registration fees of £164.00 (£600.00)
Both for Partners (x4 docs): £800.00 (plus VAT of £160.00) plus 4 x registration fees of £656.00 (£960.00)
Creation of a Trust £950.00 (plus VAT of £190.00) plus Land Registry fees and bankruptcy searches – £2.00 per individual (£1,140.00)
Additional Estate related legal issues:
Assent of Property (having Title Deeds updated into the names of a Beneficiary rather than selling the Property)
Registered Title: £150.00 (plus VAT of £30.00) plus Land Registry fees (vary depending on the value of the property) (£180.00)
Unregistered: Price to be confirmed by agreement plus Land Registry fees

Probate

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets.  We can offer as much or as little help with an estate as the Executors require of us. The price illustration below is based upon a simple, unchallenged estate, where the Executors ask us to obtain probate, collect in a relatively simple portfolio of assets and then pay liabilities and distribute the estate to the Beneficiaries on their behalf. The price is included as guidance only, as obviously all estates are different. We provide a more accurate estimate or illustration of costs after the first initial meeting once it is apparent what works are required of us on behalf of the estate. For example, if there are complex assets, numerous Beneficiaries, more complex tax forms to complete, a property to have valued and sold.  Please note this is a non-exhaustive list.

Obtaining Probate/Letters of Administration on your behalf

Obtaining Grant only: £350.00 (plus VAT of £70.00) plus Court fees £155.00 plus 50p per sealed copy (£420.00)

This assumes that we are acting for the Executors/Administrator, we are provided with a list of the assets with estimated values and the estate is not subject to Inheritance Tax (and no IHT 400 is required to be completed for any other reasons). The fixed costs assume we are instructed to complete the simple IHT205 forms, prepare an Oath to be sworn by the Executors (or Administrator if there is not a Will).  We then send the Probate (Letters of Administration if there is not a Will) once received to you and you deal with all asset encashment and distribution to Beneficiaries personally.

Fixed fees for simple estates:

TOTAL: fees start from £1,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements (see below)

This includes obtaining the Grant, completing Inheritance Tax forms, collecting assets and distributing them.

Breakdown of costs:

Legal fees £1,000.00 (plus VAT of £200.00)

Disbursements:

  • Probate court fee of £155.00 (correct as of Dec 2018) plus 50p per sealed copy.
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
  • Posts in The London Gazette (Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) and posts in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims – approximately £250.00 depending upon the newspapers in question.

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

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Probate Solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal Oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

Please note, this fee is based on matters proceeding without unexpected complications, and assumes the following:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are no more than five Beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between Beneficiaries on division of assets as if disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within four to six months.  Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes ten to twelve weeks from the initial meeting (if all organisations respond swiftly). Collecting assets then follows, which can take between four to six weeks.  Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes three to four weeks.

More complex estates:

Applying for the Grant, collecting and distributing the assets where an estate is more complex (for example if there are numerous properties, a large investment portfolio, business interests or lengthier Inheritance tax forms to complete) are dealt with depending upon the level of work and time spent by us in assisting you.  These are therefore dealt with by reference to hourly rates and costs per phone call or letter sent, and time spent working on your matter.

The hourly charging rates for Solicitors within the Department who will assist you with matters range from:

Trainee Solicitors/Paralegals – £125.00 per chargeable hour

Solicitors – £165.00 per chargeable hour

Partners – £175.00 per chargeable hour

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one Beneficiary and no property, costs will be close to or agreed as the same as the fixed amounts referenced above. If there are multiple Beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be higher.

We are aware that some organisations charge a percentage of the value of the estate as their fees (usually 3%).  We do not charge for estates in this way but in our experience our fees are usually substantially less than other organisations that charge as a percentage of the estate.

Issues that can lead to increased costs or lengthier time required:-

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • A challenge to the estate
  • Inheritance Tax being payable, or lengthier Inheritance Tax forms being required to be completed due to lifetime gifts or any other reasons.

A costs estimate will be given after the initial meeting once it is clear what works we will be assisting the Executors with.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within the ‘more complex’ range are dealt with within six to twelve months.