Rajesh Kalia is a Solicitor and Partner in the firm with over 25 years experience in Wills and Probate and Estate administration. He is efficient and skilled at giving advice on inheritance tax and its impact as well as capital gains tax and income tax taking all the worry out of the process for you.

The following fee information gives an indication of our fees. Each matter is different. When you contact us we will provide you with a written quote specific to your requirements.

To discuss your specific probate and estate administration requirements, please contact us.

The work involved will depend upon what is required to obtain a Grant of Probate and thereafter administer an estate. However, generally, our fees for a normal estate administration cover the following:-

  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries of an estate
  • Identify the type of Grant of Representation application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant information and documents required to make the application on your behalf
  • Prepare and submit relevant searches for creditors
  • Prepare the Grant Application and the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax forms
  • Draft the appropriate witness statement for you to sign
  • Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
  • Obtain the Grant of Representation and send court sealed copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

There are no hidden charges as we provide you with details of the likely fees and disbursements before you formally instruct us. We are bound by that estimate and are professionally obliged to inform you when there will be any changes to that original estimate as circumstances arise.

The following prices relate only to estates where all assets are located in the UK and where there are no contested issues. In relation to such cases, our normal hourly rate of £300 per hour plus VAT will apply.

These costs relate to testate estates (i.e. where there is a valid Will). If you wish to determine whether or not the estate concerned is subject to inheritance tax, please visit the HMRC website at https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

Please note that in an estate where inheritance tax is payable, before a Grant of Probate can issue, at least part of the inheritance tax will need to be paid and in some cases all the tax due. As with funeral expenses, inheritance tax can often be paid from a deceased person’s assets, e.g. their bank account. However, please note that executors are responsible for the payment of that tax.

We are happy to assist in relation to obtaining the grant of probate and/or assisting with the estate administration.

The following estimates anticipate a reasonable level of communication during the process and, in circumstances where that is exceeded, additional charges are likely to be applied, although you will be notified prior to any such charges being applied.

Circumstances where additional charges may be incurred are also set out below. Please note that executors of an estate are normally entitled to reimbursement of all legal costs and reasonable related expenses involved.

Where a full inheritance account is not required, to obtain a grant of probate is likely to take between 5 and 6 hours work at £300 per hour plus VAT, i.e. £1,500-£1,800 plus VAT.

Where a full inheritance account is required, to obtain a grant of probate is likely to take between 6 and 8 hours work at £300 per hour plus VAT, i.e. £1,800-£2,400 plus VAT.

However, in relation to both these cases, this will depend upon the information you are able to supply and so (unlike fixed fees) the less we have to do, the less the charges will be. The exact cost will also depend on the individual circumstances. For example, if there are very few assets, the costs will be at the lower end of the range. For example, if there are multiple assets, a property, bank accounts and shares, the costs may be at the higher end.

The above charges relate to estates where:

  • There is a valid will;
  • There is no more than one residential property;
  • There are no more than three banks/building societies involved;
  • There are no other intangible assets;
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to increased costs;
  • There are no claims against the estate either for financial provision or by creditors.

In addition to our professional charges and VAT, there are various disbursements that may be incurred and which are payable in addition to the above charges. 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. The most likely of these have been set out below, although please note there may be others depending upon the circumstances of each individual case.

Disbursements

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

  • Probate Court Fee – £155.00
  • Copies of Grant of Probate (per copy) – £1.50
  • Land Registry Title Entries (per entry) – £3.00
  • Bankruptcy Search Fee (per name) – £2.00*
  • Marriage/Death Certificate Search (per search) – £14.00
  • Creditor Protection Notices – £250-£300 plus VAT**

*Bankruptcy searches for individuals abroad will incur charges depending upon the country in which they are based and can range from £100 to £300 plus VAT.

** This is an estimated cost as the charges vary between area, dependent upon the newspaper in which the notice is published.

Once the Grant of Probate has issued, we will invoice you for the work done and, once settled, will forward to you the original Grant of probate together with the certified copies that you have requested.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any numerous shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there are 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 in relation to the assets involved;
  • If unknown assets come to light, for example assets abroad;
  • If problems are encountered with assets, for example property subsidence;
  • If problems are encountered with locating or identifying beneficiaries;
  • If non-residential, commercial property or other business interests are involved;
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included;
  • Dealing with income tax for the final tax year to the date of death is not included;
  • Registering with HMRC as a Complex Estate for income tax purposes;
  • Preparing/submitting income tax returns for each year of administration period.

How long will this take?

The time it takes to obtain a Grant of Probate depends largely upon how quickly the relevant asset information can be obtained. Once that information has been obtained (which can take 4 to 6 weeks depending upon the institutions concerned) typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 4 to 6 weeks thereafter. If inheritance tax is payable, a receipt is first required from HMRC. Accordingly, the process will take longer depending upon how quickly HMRC process the application and that can add a further 3 to 5 weeks. On average that is about 4 months.

In addition to the above costs in obtaining the Grant of Probate, if you wish us to assist with the administration of the estate, the following additional costs will also become payable.

Where inheritance tax is not payable, to collect in the assets and administer the estate to the beneficiaries is likely to take between 10 and 12 hours work at £300 per hour plus VAT, i.e. £3,000-£3,600 plus VAT.

Where inheritance tax is payable, to obtain a grant of probate is likely to take between 10 and 15 hours work at £300 per hour plus VAT, i.e. £3,000-£4,500 plus VAT.

The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

This above charges relate to estates where:

  • There is a valid will;
  • There is no more than one residential property;
  • There are no more than three banks/building societies involved;
  • There are no other intangible assets;
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;
  • There are no claims made against the estate either for financial provision or by creditors.

In addition to our professional charges and VAT, there are various disbursements that may be incurred and which are payable in addition to the above charges. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties and are normally payable from the estate assets, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The most likely of these have been set out below, although please note there may be others depending upon the circumstances of each individual case.

Disbursements

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

  • Land Registry Title Entries (per entry) – £3.00
  • Bankruptcy Search Fee (per name) – £2.00*
  • Creditor Protection Notices – £250-£300 plus VAT**

* Bankruptcy searches for individuals abroad will incur charges depending upon the country in which they are based and can range from £100 to £300 plus VAT.

** This is an estimated cost as the charges vary between area, dependent upon the newspaper in which the notice is published.

Potential Additional Costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of a large number of assets, such as numerous shareholdings, there are 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 and please telephone or email us for a quote specific to your circumstances;
  • If there are multiple beneficiaries (i.e. more than 4) or if any beneficiaries are missing or overseas;
  • If non-residential, commercial property or other business interests are involved;
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included;
  • Dealing with income tax for the final tax year to the date of death is not included;
  • Preparing/submitting income tax returns for each year of administration period is not included;
  • Registering with HMRC as a Complex Estate for income tax purposes is not included. An estate is considered complex by HMRC if:
  • the value of the estate exceeds £2.5 million;
  • the income tax due for the whole of the administration period exceeds £10,000; or;
  • the value of assets sold in any tax year exceeds £500,000 for deaths after 6th April 2016 (or £250,000 for deaths up to 5th April 2016).

Once the estate administration has concluded, we will invoice you for the work done (which is normally paid from the assets we are holding) and prepare an Account of the Estate Transactions prior to making the final distribution(s).

How long will this take?

The time it takes to administer an estate can take several months and depends on a number of factors, including if there is a residential property to sell, if income tax returns require completion or an estate needs to be registered as a complex estate (see above). In addition, we advise that clients consider delaying the estate administration to avoid potential personal liability as an executor for the following reasons.

Creditors of an estate have six years within which to bring a claim against the executor for non-payment of a debt. It is possible to protect against personal liability by advertising for potential creditors in the London Gazette and local newspaper. This means that once two months has passed from the advert publication the estate can be distributed without personal liability being incurred by the executors.

It is also possible for a person (who may or may not otherwise be beneficially entitled under the terms of a Will) to make a claim for provision from an estate within a period of six months from the date of Grant of Probate. In the circumstances and bearing in mind that if a claim is issued, a claimant has four months within which to serve it, if the estate is distributed before the end of ten months from the date of the Grant of Probate, the executor could be personally liable for any loss/liability as a result. As a result, we advise that executors consider delaying the final distribution for that 10 month period. There are insurance policies that may be available to enable earlier distribution, although such policies tend to be costly.

Important

In any case where our services are terminated partway through a transaction (e.g. before obtaining the Grant of Probate or concluding the estate administration) charges for the work undertaken to that point will be made at the hourly rate referred to above plus VAT and disbursements.

These charges do not apply to circumstances where we are appointed as an executor or attorney executor.

Contact London Solicitors Goodge Law

To discuss your specific probate and estate administration requirements, please contact us. You can phone Goodge Law on 020 7636 9222.