Probate services: Fees and Costs

It is often difficult to estimate the likely cost of obtaining a Grant of Representation and administering an Estate, the main reason being that there is sometimes insufficient information at the outset as to the nature of the Estate and any potential problems. No two estates are the same.

A person’s estate consists of assets they had on the day they died in their sole name. These assets include bank, building society accounts, shares, personal chattels etc. and any real estate (e.g. a house). It is these assets to which a Will, or if there is no Will the laws of intestacy, apply. The following factors can make the probate process more complex and consequently make the fees more expensive:

  • Difficulties locating a valid Will;
  • Other missing paperwork;
  • The number and type of beneficiaries;
  • The number of bank accounts or building society accounts;
  • The number of properties owned;
  • Shares, funds, trusts and/or investments included within the estate;
  • Inheritance tax and related exemption claims;
  • Lifetime gifts made by the deceased;
  • The number of claims made against the estate;
  • Complex, unusual or novel aspects to the estate or administration.

Many clients say to us “it’s only a small estate” when in reality, although the value may not be high, the information needed to prepare the papers on your behalf is the same as that for a “bigger” estate.

Our fee will also reflect the degree of assistance that you have requested from us in administering the estate.

If this is just a short advisory meeting as you start the probate process, then fees will likely be no more than £200 plus VAT but if you require us to deal with the entire administration from funeral through to the final distributions to beneficiaries, then the cost will be much higher (and much harder to predict). 

Our probate application-only services would start from £750 plus VAT plus disbursements for the simplest of excepted estates. For an “average” estate with no complex valuations we would anticipate fees in the region of £2,250 plus VAT plus disbursements.

Our fee to you will comprise three elements:

  • A time-based fee for the actual work done including all meetings, correspondence and telephone calls as well as the completion and submission of required forms. We work on an hourly rate, with time spent on the estate affairs recorded in units of 6 minutes each (10 per hour);
  • VAT is added to our costs at the prevailing rate at the date of invoicing, currently 20%;
  • 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 usual disbursements in probate matters include the Probate fee which is currently £155, advertising fees for the London Gazette and local papers and copies of the Grant of Probate at 50p each. Other disbursements may be applicable to particular cases.

If for any reason J.A.D. Associates Limited does not complete the work which you have instructed us to do, then a charge will be made in respect of the work which has already been completed. This will be based on the time element and the estate would also be charged for any disbursements incurred.

For an initial probate consultation, please contact Wendy Draper or David Crombie or get in touch with your usual contact at J.A.D. Associates Limited.

We are here to help.