NEWCASTLE OFFICE 0191 2322574
TEESSIDE OFFICE 01642 356500
Since 1876

Probate Services Fees

Probate Services – Range of costs

Our Services

Grant Only – Return of Estate Information Form (IHT205)

This is where we assist you in part of the Estate Administration process. You provide us with all of the financial information in the Estate and we complete the legal process of applying for the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration. This involves completing an Inheritance Tax form for HMRC – the Return of Estate Information Form (IHT205) and preparing and Oath for the Executors/Administrators to be sworn to and then lodging the application with the Probate Registry. We then provide you with the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration for you to deal with gathering in the assets and distributing the Estate yourself:

The scope of this work covers:

  • Attendance to take instructions and obtain information in relation to the Estate and advise of Probate procedure
  • Confirming the Executors or Administrators and any available options as to which Executors/Administrators act
  • Completing IHT205
  • Drafting Oath
  • Drafting Power Reserved Notice to clear off additional Executors if required
  • Attendance to sign and approve paperwork
  • Arranging for swearing of papers
  • Submitting the application to the Probate Court
  • Taking receipt of Grant of Probate and forwarding to you

We charge you a fixed fee of £575.00 plus VAT and disbursements for this service.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The disbursements you can expect to incur are as follows:

  • £155.00 probate fee
  • 0.50p for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate (we recommend that you get one copy for each institution)
    Swear fees £5.00 per Executor/Administrator and £2.00 per document you are being sworn to

On average, our Grant Only – Return of Estate Information Form (IHT205) Service takes one to three months. Once submitted it will take approximately two weeks for the Probate Court to issue the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration in addition to this.

Where a Grant of Probate/Letter of Administration is required urgently (e.g. for the sale of a property where exchange has taken place) and the Estate is simple, we can offer an expedited service.

Grant Only –  Full Inheritance Tax Account required (IHT400)

This is where we assist you in part of the Estate Administration process. You provide us with all of the financial information in the Estate and we complete the legal process of applying for the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration. This involves completing an Inheritance Tax form for HMRC known as an IHT400 which has a number of Schedules to it and we also prepare an Oath for the Executors/Administrators to be sworn to. We lodge the IHT400 with HMRC and then go on to lodge the application with the Probate Registry.  We then provide you with the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration for you to deal with, gathering in the assets and distributing the Estate yourself.

The IHT400 is usually required where the person who has died had their house in a Trust or had made significant gifts in their lifetime or the value of their Estate is such that Inheritance Tax is payable or that additional reliefs and exemptions (for example the Residence Nil Rate Band) are required to be claimed

The scope of this work covers:

  • Attendance to take instructions and obtain information in relation to the Estate and advise of Probate procedure
  • Confirming the Executors or Administrators and any available options as to which Executors/Administrators act
  • Completing IHT400 and Schedules
  • Drafting Oath
  • Drafting Power Reserved Notice to clear off additional Executors, if required
  • Attendance to sign and approve paperwork
  • Arranging for swearing of papers
  • Submitting the application to the Probate Court
  • Taking receipt of Grant of Probate and forwarding to you

This is a more complicated process than the Grant Only Service, involving the Return of Estate Information Form (IHT205), as there are a higher number of forms to complete and often taxation aspects to cover; we therefore cannot offer a fixed fee. You could expect charges to be in the region of £1,000 to £1,500, plus VAT and disbursements for this service.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The disbursements you expect to incur are as follows:

  • £155.00 probate fee
  • 0.50p for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate (we recommend that you get one copy for each institution).
    Swear fees; £5.00 per Executor/Administrator and £2.00 per document you are being sworn to.

On average, our Grant Only – Full Inheritance Tax Account required (IHT400) takes three to six months. In addition to this, it can take many weeks for HMRC to issue a receipt for the IHT400 which is required before the Probate can be applied for. Once submitted, it will take approximately two weeks for the Probate Court to issue the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.

Full Estate Services

Under our Full Estate Service we would usually undertake all of the work on behalf of the Estate from ‘start to finish’.

We would usually undertake the following as part of this:

  • Attendance on, and correspondence with family to obtain information for completion of probate papers
  • Liaising with family members and beneficiaries as required
  • Sorting through any paperwork and confirming assets and liabilities of estate
  • Contacting each institution for financial values
  • Preparing application for Grant of Probate
  • Completing IHT 205 or IHT400
  • Arranging for signing of IHT 205 and swearing of Oath – attendance of Executor to be sworn to the Oath
  • Submitting the application to the Probate Court
  • Arranging for payment of Inheritance Tax on behalf of the Estate. The tax itself is paid from monies in the Estate
  • Subsequent correspondence with HMRC
  • Corresponding with institutions as necessary to close accounts and release funds into our Executors’ Account and settling any debts
  • Arranging clearance and sale/transfer of property if required
  • Arranging payment of legacies
  • Preparation of Estate and Distribution Accounts
  • Distributing the Estate

The scope of the work depends on the complexity and value of the Estate. We have split our Full Estate Service into three different categories: a Simple Estate, a Mid-Range Estate and a High Value or High Complexity Estate.

However, there will be some cross over between these three categories and we can provide a more precise estimate regarding what category the Estate falls into after an initial meeting. Often the complexity of an Estate evolves throughout the probate process if new assets or issues are uncovered.

On our Full Estate Services, our fees are based on our hourly rates on a ‘time spent’ basis and we cannot offer a fixed fee.

The hourly rates of our private client legal experts, who may deal with the Estate are as follows:

  • Andrew Steel – £200.00 per hour
  • Helen Milburn – £175.00 per hour
  • Christine Westwood – £150.00 per hour
  • Emily Robertson – £110.00 per hour

Where we are responsible for gathering the money into our client account (this is because we treat this as an Executors Account for the Estate) and we prepare Estate Accounts and distribute the Estate, we also charge a ‘value element’. This is a mark-up percentage usually charged on the value of the ‘liquid’ assets (that is anything other than a property) in the Estate. This is charged at 1% plus VAT.

We also have a ‘value element’ mark-up percentage in relation to the property in the Estate of 0.5% plus VAT, but this is only generally chargeable where we are responsible for ‘looking after’ the property during the administration period. If family or friends carry out all responsibilities associated with the property, rather than us, then we would not charge additional mark up in respect of the property value.

Simple Estate

We anticipate administering a Simple Estate will take approximately 10 – 12 hours work. Total costs estimated at £2,000 to £2,500 plus VAT and disbursements.

There will be a ‘value element’ charge in addition to these fees as detailed above.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The exact cost will depend 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 quote for a ‘Simple Estate’ is generally for estates where:

  • There is a valid will or a simple intestacy
  • There is no more than one property
  • There is a less than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are less than three UK shareholdings
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are a no more than four beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise, this is likely to lead to a significant increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • All information on assets is readily available

Disbursements you would expect to incur are:

  • £155.00 probate court fee
  • 0.50p for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate (we recommend that you get one copy for each institution)
  • Swear fees of £5.00 per Executor/Administrator and £2.00 per document you are being sworn to
  • Bankruptcy Searches if required – £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Approximately £80.00 to post a statutory advert in The London Gazette – helps protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • Approximately £200.00 to post a statutory advert in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within six to nine  months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes three to six months Collecting assets then follows, which can take between two to three months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the Estate which normally takes one month.

If there is a property in the Estate the administration cannot be completed until the property is sold or transferred, which can prolong the time it takes to administer the Estate.

Additionally, conveyancing costs will apply if the property is sold – our conveyancing department will have these relevant fees for you.

Mid-Range Estate

We anticipate administering a Mid-Range Estate this will take approximately 20 – 40 hours work. Total costs estimated at £4,000 to £6,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

There will be a ‘value element’ charge in addition to these fees as detailed above.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is a small number of assets and a small number of beneficiaries, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a one or more properties and multiple bank accounts, multiple shareholdings, investments and other assets or multiple debts, costs will be at the higher end.

An insolvent Estate is likely to come into this category.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is generally for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will or an intestacy where there are a number of beneficiaries
  • There are a number of legacies in the Will
  • There are charitable beneficiaries
  • There is one or more one property
  • There are more than five bank or building society accounts
  • There are more than three UK shareholdings
  • There are investment assets
  • There are more than four beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to a significant increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable but exemptions and reliefs need to be claimed as the Estate is of a mid to high value
  • There are business assets but these are simple in structure e.g. a sole trader
  • Income tax from the administration period needs to be declared to HMRC
  • There is inheritance tax payable and an IHT400 is required to be completed
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements you would expect to incur are:

  • £155.00 probate court fee
  • 0.50p for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate (we recommend that you get one copy for each institution)
    Swear fees of £5.00 per Executor/Administrator and £2.00 per document you are being sworn to
  • Bankruptcy Searches, if required – £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Approximately £80.00 to post a statutory advert in The London Gazette – helps protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • Approximately £200.00 to post a statutory advert in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 12 – 18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes six to eight months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between four to six months. Once this has been done, we can prepare the Estate Accounts, finalise any income tax and distribute the Estate which normally takes between one and three months.

If there is a property in the Estate, the administration cannot be completed until the property is sold or transferred which can prolong the time it takes to administer the Estate.

Additionally, conveyancing costs will apply if the property is sold.  Our Residential Conveyancing department will have these relevant fees for you.

High Value/High Complexity Estate

We anticipate administering a High Value/High Complexity Estate will take atleast 40 hours work. Total costs for this average at £8,000 plus VAT and disbursements but from experience, could range up to £15,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

There will be a ‘value element’ charge in addition to these fees as detailed above.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

These fees generally apply where there are complex factors in the Estate because it is high value (e.g. in excess of £1 million), and there are multiple assets usually including business or agricultural assets.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if the estate is taxable, but there are a smaller number of assets easily identifiable and determinable and a small number of beneficiaries, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, multiple properties, multiple bank accounts, multiple shareholdings, multiple investments and multiple other assets, costs will be at the higher end.

Costs at the higher end will include Estates with business or agricultural assets or Estates where a full investigation to locate assets is required. Costs at the higher end could include where there is intestacy where beneficiaries have to be traced and there is a high number located say 10 – 20 plus.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is generally for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will with trusts or a multiple number of beneficiaries or legatees, or an intestacy where there are a number of beneficiaries
  • There are multiple charitable beneficiaries
  • There is more than one property
  • There are multiple bank or building society accounts
  • There are multiple three shareholdings
  • There are multiple investment assets
  • The financial affairs of the deceased are unclear and investigatory work is required
  • There are disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise, this is likely to lead to a significant increase in costs
  • There is inheritance tax payable
  • There are complex business assets e.g. partnership or company assets
  • There are agricultural assets
  • There are non-UK based shareholdings
  • There is no inheritance tax payable, either because of debts or exemptions, and reliefs need to be claimed as the Estate and there are multiple assets to be declared
  • There is inheritance tax payable and an IHT400 is required to be completed
  • Corrective accounts are required to be lodged at HMRC to amend Inheritance tax payable
  • Income tax from the administration period needs to be declared to HMRC
  • Tax clearance needs to be obtained
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements you would expect to incur are:

  • £155.00 probate court fee
  • 0.50p for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate (we recommend that you get one copy for each institution)
  • Swear fees of £5.00 per Executor/Administrator and £2.00 per document you are being sworn to
  • Bankruptcy Searches if required – £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Approximately £80.00 to post a statutory advert in The London Gazette – helps protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • Approximately £200.00 to post a statutory advert in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims
  • If beneficiaries need to be traced, there will be tracing agent fees; these could range typically from £100 to £600 plus VAT

On average, Estates that fall within this range are dealt within 18 – 36 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate /letter of administration takes 12 months (tax payable at the six month mark will be estimated and paid on account to HMRC). Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6 – 12 months. Once this has been done, we can prepare the Estate Accounts, finalise any income tax and distribute the Estate which normally takes three – six months.

If there is a property in the Estate or business and agricultural assets, the administration cannot be completed until the property or business and agricultural assets are sold or transferred, which can prolong the time it takes to administer the Estate. In these circumstances, administration stretches to the higher end of the estimated timescale or beyond.

Additionally, conveyancing costs will apply if the property is sold – our Residential Conveyancing department will have these relevant fees. Our Commercial and Corporate departments may be involved in respect of the sale of commercial assets and these respective departments can provide these relevant fees.

Deeds of Variation

Where a beneficiary wants to vary the terms of the Will or Intestacy there is a legal mechanism to do this; this is called a Deed of Variation. The costs of this can be met by the Estate or the individual beneficiary depending on the circumstances. Costs for preparing a Deed of Variation are based on a ‘time spent’ basis. Estimated costs for a Deed of Variation range from £400.00 plus VAT (two hours of time) for a simple Deed of Variation (e.g. one beneficiary redirecting a share in the Estate which is non-taxable) up to £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements (10 hours of time) for a complex Deed of Variation (e.g. a variation of an Estate into a Trust or where the Executors or Administrators are varying a share in a deceased’s Estate or where the Deed of Variation changes the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on the Estate.

On average a Deed of Variation will take one to three months to complete.

Website ©Copyright Jacksons Law Firm 2018