We find the variation in cost for obtaining a grant of probate incredible. A firm that claims to be the largest in the lands probate quote was £8,000.
We found a firm that cut the cost down to just £475. The clients saved £7,525 or 94%. We can promise to always do our best, but some cases really do need highly sophisticated advice where the hourly rate will inevitably be higher. But still modest for the level of expertise required. Of course, the Court fees are added on top of the £475, and it is possible the £215 was included in the other probate quote. Read on for Court costs and more, or use the form to the right to get information on probate quotes – or give us a call on 03 300 102 300. We won’t recommend a highly sophisticated service (more expensive!) unless you really need it.
Just letting the local solicitor who may hold the Will do the work may cost you dear: so why not let us get a probate quote for you? No cost, no obligation.
You might even find out that a grant of probate isn’t even needed! That is an even bigger saving on probate fees. You would be surprised how often people worry and then it turns out there isn’t a requirement to get probate anyway.
Dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died can be stressful, and the cost of delegating to some professionals is a lot less than others. So contact us to get a probate quote. Fixed fee probate quotes are available in many cases, provided you have enough information.
Is a professional needed?
- Where Inheritance Tax is likely to be payable – there are penalties for not paying with 6 months of the 1st day of the month following the death. That can be hard to achieve unless everything is well documented.
- Quarrelsome families often fall out forever – let them blame the third party!
- Beneficiaries left out, or folk who may have been supported by the deceased, or to whom an obligation was owed.
- Bankrupt beneficiaries can lead to bankrupt executors!
- Disputes ideally need defusing as Court action can easily cost the price of a house or more.
- Estates where tax planning has taken place including gifts and specialist investments. Careful research is needed.
- Overseas assets – all sorts of complications here.
- Where the deceased may not be “domiciled” in the UK different tax rules may apply.
- The family don’t have the administrative skills necessary. With many estates costing less than £500 (+ Court Fees) to sort out, why have all the worry? Our recommended probate quote can cover as much or as little of the work as you wish, even if it is just a quick check. Our associates are there to help.
Maybe you don’t need to get a probate quote as you can deal with much of the work yourself. But perhaps you want to clarify a few points and get a final check, just to be sure? We can help…
It costs nothing to get comparative probate quote cost recommendations – juts tell us a little about the estate and maybe save thousands!
A Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration usually if there is no Will) is the legal document giving the Executors (or Administrators) authority to deal with the assets and liabilities of an estate in accordance with the Will or under the Rules of Intestacy.
What that does NOT mean is that the Executor/ Administrator can do what they wish with the estate. If they don’t follow the Law then they may be sued or even prosecuted for theft
Court Fees to obtain a Grant of Probate
or Letters of Administration. There are three sets of costs, the Probate Registry Court Fees, probate solicitors fees, and expenses of the administration. Let us deal with these in turn.
1) Fees charged by the Registry for the Grant.
As at September 2019, things are pretty chaotic (see the home page for updates) as there is a mad rush to apply for a Probate Grant or Letters of Administration (before the fees rise at some unspecified date in the future. There will only be 21 days notice of the implementation, so some folk are scrambling to save as much as £5,715 in Court fees on a large estate.
Current fees for estates valued at over £5,000 are £215 + £1.50 per copy of the Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration. Solicitors are charged £60 less.
Probate Fees to be introduced summer 2019 are vastly different and are designed as a tax on Middle England as far as we can see. Here they are:
|Size of estate (before inheritance tax.)||Proposed fees.|
|Up to £50,000||£0|
|£50,001 – £300,000||£250|
|£300,001 – £500,000||£750|
|£500,001 – £1,000,000||£2,500|
|£1,000,001 – £1,600,000||£4,000|
|£1,600,001 – £2,000,000||£5,000|
As you will see, some families will have to find substantial sums even to submit the application for the grant. To make matters worse, Inheritance Tax has to be paid before the grant can be considered (IHT on property can be staggered). With funerals currently the biggest item on credit cards, they could be topped by fees for probate grants soon, giving a further blow to the bereaved.
2) Probate Costs – Expenses of the Administration.
Whoever is the Executor or Administrator of the estate, there will be costs involved in managing the process. Expenses that Executors or Administrators can claim personally are very limited. No chance of making a profit!
However, it may be necessary to pay out for property insurance (you could get sued if you don’t and something goes wrong), urgent repairs and maintenance. Other insurance is available to protect executors. Bankruptcy searches on all beneficiaries, Trustee Act Adverts, tracing services, loans to pay Inheritance Tax, probate fees. Professional fees (we can source small amounts of help or a complete service at sensible fees should you wish it. There is also the cost of the funeral to be considered where there was no prepaid plan in place. See here to sort your own!
3a) Do I need Professional Help?
Whilst we ourselves only give very general guidance, we have a range of trusted and experienced associates who can deal with everything from a few minutes help to sophisticated tax planning and trusts.
There are a few occasions when we would strongly recommend asking us to get the right professional help. Remember that once you do anything, you are stuck with seeing the job through, though you can usually delegate to lawyers and recover the costs from the estate.
- Where you don’t have the administrative skills or perhaps the time.
- Where there is any possibility of a dispute (unless professionally handled, these soon permanently scar family relationships)
- Where a life partner or family member is not provided for.
- Overseas assets.
- Inheritance Tax liabilities
- Executors are overseas or miles away from the deceased’s home. It is possible for non-recoverable travel costs to exceed the cost of legal fees.
- Trusts within or outside the Will or intestacy (no Will).
- Potentially insolvent estates.
- Original Will lost.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to hand everything over, we can help you just to get advice in specific areas.
3b) Professional Fees
Lawyers probate fees vary wildly – as you have probably gathered, our job is to point people in the right direction to firms who can offer the necessary level of support and expertise. That may be 15 minutes advice or taking over a multinational estate with all its complexities or anything in between.
Bereaved family members are often in no state to deal with complex forms and administration. But we can offer a halfway house through our associates to check things through with you, cutting probate fees to a minimum.
Professional fees vary from a flat 1% to 4% of the gross estate, to hourly rates, typically over £250 an hour – all plus VAT. Some add a sucker punch of an extra commission, on top of the cost of the hourly rate of anything up to 1.8% of the gross value of the estate as a “responsibility allowance” – which can triple the bill. We will not recommend anyone who does that.
Our associates can help with straightforward estates from as little as £95 an hour (May 2019) and for more complex estates we would introduce you to others who can provide more sophisticated help at the low end of solicitors fees (but not expertise) – with no nasty responsibility allowance! Alternatively, a flat % of the gross estate. All plus third-party costs (disbursements) and VAT where relevant.
How much does it cost to get a grant of probate?
Call us on 03 300 102 300.
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