Probate Fees: how to keep them sensible.
Probate fees: our mission at The Probate Department Ltd (a private company helping
people with probate) is to keep probate charges SENSIBLE. We want to provide a good, friendly and efficient service at modest fees which still allow us to make a decent living.
There are three areas where we feel that probate fees can be a massive rip off:
- Percentage probate charges – does it really cost ten times as much to deal with a bank account with £10,000 in it than one with £1,000? No, of course not.
- Letter charges – many firms probate charges allow them to charge for each letter – perhaps £45 + VAT (on top of the hourly rate). We may produce 10 letters in ten minutes with our specialist software, costing you maybe a few pounds in probate fees not £450! And we don’t charge you for the stamps or phone bill either.
- Probate fee rip off alert – “responsibility allowances.” What happens here is that the Law Society allows firms to add a commission based on the value of the estate because the bigger the estate, the more responsibility. Whilst there is a very vague justification in mega money estates, this probate fee add on can triple the final bill for probate. The Law Society sanctions a charge of up to 1.5% + VAT of the value of the estate. On a £100,000 estate that could be £1,800 extra!!!
- Fixed Fee Probate – not a bad thing in itself but be aware that it means the awkward cases are subsidised by the ones which turn out to be easier. And the small print will often show that the fee isn’t fixed at all!
Our probate charges are typically 30 to 50% below most solicitors or banks and we have an in-house barrister for cases which prove complex which could mean a saving of well over £200 an hour on commercial rates.
All fees are plus VAT as applicable.
Probate Fees: our terms and conditions of business.
We are in no way connected with the Probate Registries which are a part of Her Majesties Court Service.