The Probate Department

Banks and solicitors overcharge for probate says Telegraph

According to an article from the Telegraph on Thursday 14 July 2011, many banks and high street solicitors overcharge for probate services leaving grieving relatives thousands of pounds worse off.

Banks and Solicitors overcharge for probate

Saga found that 90pc of those surveyed said they had used a solicitor or financial adviser but the cost for probate varied massively.

Many banks, solicitors and others include themselves as executors charge up to a horrifying FIVE PERCENT of the gross value of the estate for their work.  Where a solicitor or bank isn’t made executor in the Will, they will suggest their probate services to the grieving family who may just accept without a thought as to the uncompetitive cost.

Saga said that families really should at least ask for a couple of competitive quotes before signing on the dotted line!   There is no obligation to use the firm that drafted the Will, and even if they area appointed in the Will, they should be asked to stand down if the quote was uncompetitive – or reduce their fee.

Half a million people die very year, so the probate market is worth at least £225m.  The potential savings for the average family with a modest home are put as high as £9,000 by the Telegraph (and could be even more with The Probate Department!)

The chief of Saga services apparently implied that advisers are exploiting poor decision decision-making by grieving families. Families are just not aware of the large variations in service levels and costs, and don’t bother checking banks and solicitors are not overcharging.

Our comment: the moral of this piece seems to be that it is worth contacting us for a quote – we are sure you will find it better than competitive.  Our fees are often less than half of those charged by banks and some solicitors, though in some areas they are still charging “only” £200 an hour, so the savings on a typical homeowners estate will be only enough to buy a nice secondhand car rather than a new one!


Banks and solicitors overcharge for probate says Telegraph