Probate Pricing

Introduction

Taylor Walton’s charges for advising on and dealing with the administration of the estate of a deceased person will be calculated as set out here. All estates are necessarily different and in all cases we suggest that you contact us so that we can give a specific estimate of our charges designed to meet the facts of your particular case. So that we can give you the most accurate estimate, please complete and submit our Probate Questionnaire.

We set out below cost estimates which we will charge in the circumstances set out in each scenario. These estimates are based on an estate where:

  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3-5 accounts with different banks or building societies
  • There are up to five beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets or claims made against the estate.

The costs estimates include VAT at the current rate of 20%. In the event that there is a change in the rate of VAT, our costs estimates will be amended accordingly.

Please note that the cost estimates apply for dealing with the whole matter: ascertaining the necessary information about the estate, submitting the Inheritance Tax Account to HMRC, applying for the Grant of Probate, gathering in the estate assets, paying liabilities and expenses, and distributing the estate to the Beneficiaries. If you wish us to do only part of the job, for example getting Probate only, and you are happy to deal with other aspects yourself, the costs may be at the lower end of the range quoted. Conversely, if there are complications, the costs are likely to be at the higher end of the range.

Please see Disbursements and Additional Costs for different aspects of an estate which will affect our charges and lead to additional costs.

Scenario 1

Here there is no Inheritance Tax payable and the Executors need to submit HMRC Form IHT205. In this scenario, our charges will be in the range £2,400 to £4,200. This should cover 8-15 hours work, at hourly rates varying from £200 to £400, depending on the seniority of the person dealing with the case.

The exact cost within the range will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, taking into account the time taken to complete the case.

Scenario 2

Here the Executors need to submit a full account to HMRC, using Form IHT400, but no Inheritance Tax is payable. In this scenario, our charges will be in the range £3,600 to £5,400. This should cover 18-27 hours work, at hourly rates ranging from £200 to £400, depending on the seniority of the person dealing with the case.

The exact cost within the range will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, taking into account the time taken to complete the case.

Scenario 3

Here the Executors not only need to submit a full account to HMRC, using Form IHT400, but Inheritance Tax is payable. In this scenario, our charges will be in the range £4,800 to £6,600. This should cover 24 - 33 hours work, at hourly rates ranging from £200 to £400, depending on the seniority of the person dealing with the case.

The exact cost within the range will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, taking into account the time taken to complete the case.

Disbursements

In addition, there will be disbursements, which are costs related to your case that are payable to third parties, such as Court fees. We will handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process, but the cost of any disbursement is not included in the above estimates and will be charged additionally, as follows:

  • Probate Application Fee: £155 plus 50p per copy (usually one per asset)
  • Swearing the Executor’s Oath: £5 plus £2 per exhibit (usually the Will plus any Codicils) per executor
  • Unclaimed Assets Searches: £25
  • Bankruptcy-Only Land Charges Department Searches: £2.40 per beneficiary

Optional disbursements payable to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors or beneficiaries:

  • Advertising in the London Gazette and a local newspaper: £180 to £250

Additional Costs

These costs estimates are for straightforward cases within the parameters set out. Please contact us and submit our Probate Questionnaire so that we can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information about the facts of your case.

Additional costs will be incurred in cases where any of the following circumstances apply:

  • If there are numerous beneficiaries, including charities
  • If there is no Will, in which case it may be necessary to employ third party commercial organisations to search for possible heirs
  • Where the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks, bonds, and other investments), where dealing with the investments will vary considerably depending on the estate
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate
  • Dealing with any trusts that arise under the Will or intestacy
  • The preparation and processing of Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax Returns to the date of death and/or for the period of the administration of the estate
  • If the estate contains any foreign assets
  • Advising on and preparing a Deed of Variation

How long will the process take?

Again, the simplicity or complexity of the particular case will determine the length of time that is needed to complete the process. Taking into account the scenarios mentioned above:

On average, estates coming in Scenario 1 are likely to take within 3-6 months to complete. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate will take 8-12 weeks. Collecting in the assets after the Grant has been issued will take between 4-6 weeks. Once this has been done we would expect to be able to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries which may take 2-4 weeks.

In Scenarios 2 and 3, cases which involve correspondence with HMRC are likely to take longer. For a taxable estate the whole process may take an additional 3-6 months on top of the timescales indicated above.

Where it is necessary to correspond with independent third parties, the time taken will often be outside our control and the time estimates included here are to be regarded as indicative only. In all cases, however, we will keep you closely in touch with timescales and will always aim to speed matters along as best we can.

Please note that you should wait at least 2 months from the date of publication, if you are advertising for creditors, and at least 6 months from the issue of the grant of probate, if there is a risk of family claims against the estate. Whilst these periods will run concurrently with the administration of the estate, the timescales set out above may be affected.