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Price Transparency : Probate and Intestacy ;Information for prospective clients Solicitors’ fees for acting on the estate for lay executor.

The fees we charge in obtaining probate and in the administration of estates are directly related to the amount of time administering the estate and the value of the estate itself. If an individual has died without leaving a Will, the process is different as the individual has died intestate.  Please ring us to discuss circumstances as the quotation will be calculated on a different basis. You may find provides some useful guidance on Probate and Intestacy.

By way of example, our current hourly charging rates are set out below:

  • £260.00 (Partners)
  • £195.00 (Solicitors and legal assistants)
  • £150.00 (Trainee Solicitors)
  • £130.00 Paralegals and other fee earners

In all cases plus VAT at the prevailing rate and disbursements or third party payments (see below).

Routine letters or emails that we write and receive will be charged at one tenth of an hour for short letters and two tenths of an hour for long letters. Routine telephone calls that we make or receive will be charged as units of one tenth of an hour. A value factor will be charged at 1% on the gross value of the assets within the estate other than the private residence (of the late person) which will be charged at only 0.5%. This charge is fairly standard across the solicitors’ profession and is designed to ensure that the solicitor’s charges for services fairly reflect the degree of risk involved in managing large sums of client monies and the cost of providing the appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance to safeguard clients’ interests. We anticipate this will take between 5 and 10 hours of work at the rates above and the total charge is entirely dependent on the value of the assets within the estate and on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end. We will handle the full process for you.

This cost indication is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are up to 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries and/or third parties on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC (or is an excepted estate)
  • There are no claims made against the estate

For Inheritance purposes you may find it useful to refer the Government Website for guidance as to the current rates generally:

Disbursements additional to this fee: (Disbursements are expenses related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process)-

  • Probate application fee of £215 but subject to Government Review and significant increases are planned for 2019 (payable to Court)
  • £7 swearing of the oath (per executor) (payable to whichever Solicitor takes the oath)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £87.84 Post in The London Gazette – Protects Executors who are non-beneficiaries against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. This expense depends on the rates charged by The London Gazette at the time of placing the advertisement.
  • £TBA Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. Usually approximately £60 but depends on the newspaper and the area in which the deceased lived. Potential additional costs

If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information. If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually). Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take? Executors have a period known as the ‘Executors’ Year’ in which it is expected routine estates should be administered though most estates can be wound up in less time than this. On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6- 9 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 2-3 weeks from submission of the application to the Probate Registry, though this lengthens during busy/pandemic times. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-8 weeks depending on the speed of response of the asset holders. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 1-2 weeks.

Our Team: Stephen Kew – Partner and Solicitor who has 37 years plus experience as a Private Client Solicitor. James Kew – Partner and Solicitor with more than 9 years post-qualification experience. Emma Crompton – Partner and Solicitor who has been practising Private Client for over 15 years. Emma Donovan – Partner and Solicitor who has been practising Private Client for 5 years.

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