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* Costs information for Uncontested Probate

Costs Information for uncontested Probates

The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Transparency Rules require us to provide detailed information on our website of the costs of some of our services.

For individual clients, the services which we provide and which are covered by the Rules include uncontested probate matters.

The information we provide is either the average cost or a range of costs of our fees, based on our hourly rates for our lawyers or other bases of charging, and any likely disbursements. Disbursements are costs that we incur with third parties such as HM Land Registry on your behalf and which we re-charge to you in our bill.

In addition, we provide information about the solicitors who will manage your matter, their qualifications and experience.

The information provided is based on our experience of the costs we charge for typical transactions or cases. Our actual charges may vary depending on the complexity of your matter and in cases where complications arise. We will always give you an individual cost estimate at the outset of your matter, taking into account the actual circumstances of your case. We will also update our estimate if any complications arise which may impact on our costs.

Uncontested probate costs with all assets in the UK and a UK Will

Our fees and the disbursements we will charge to you for a typical uncontested probate cover the work and involve the costs set out below. In some cases, the costs may be less. In some cases, where the probate is unusually complex, the costs may be more.

Our fees and disbursements for this work are based on the number of hours we take to complete the work multiplied by the hourly rates for the fee earners undertaking the work. For typical cases involving the following activities:

  1. Contacting the organisations in which the deceased is known by us to have investments and liaising with the Personal Representatives regarding the valuation of the other assets and any liabilities comprised within the Estate;
  2. Liaising with professional advisers in respect of the Estate;
  3. Preparing the relevant HMRC Inheritance tax return which is a precondition of the application for the Grant of Probate, for signature by the Executors;
  4. Arranging to pay any Inheritance Tax which is due on the estate with the assets comprised within the Estate;
  5. Preparing the Oath to accompany the application for the Grant for the Executors to swear;
  6. Preparing accounts for the beneficiaries to consider;
  7. Liaising with HMRC in relation to Inheritance Tax (although see below that extensive negotiations in relation to tax can cause costs to increase);
  8. Thereafter, collecting, getting in and distributing the assets comprised in the Estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

For the administration of a UK estate worth under £500k (likely duration 6 months – a year): Solicitors’ Fees of £3,000 – £16,000 plus VAT;

For the administration of a UK estate worth between £500k – £3m (likely duration 1 year to 18 months): Solicitors’ Fees of £13,000 – £20,000 plus VAT up to the grant of probate and a further £13,000 – £30,000 plus VAT from the grant of probate to final distribution;

For the administration of a UK estate worth between £3m – £5m (likely duration 1 – 2 years): Solicitors’ Fees of £50,000 – £100,000 plus VAT;

For the administration of a UK estate worth between £5m – £10m (likely duration 1 – 3 years): Solicitors’ Fees of £80,000 – £150,000 plus VAT;

For the administration of a UK estate worth over £10m (likely duration 1 – 4 years): Solicitors’ Fees of £150,000 – £200,000 plus VAT;

The disbursements and expenses that may be incurred in addition to these fees are:

The following may be factors that could increase overall costs and are not included in the prices above:

  1. Registering the death, obtaining the death certificate and arranging the funeral: £2,000 – £5,000 plus VAT;
  2. Dealing with an intestacy / tracing relatives: £2,000 – £8,000 plus VAT, depending on size of family and whereabouts;
  3. Deed of Variation: £800 – £1,500 plus VAT;
  4. Preparing a tax return: £1000 – £1,500 plus VAT;
  5. Sale / transfer of a property / assent: see Costs Information for Residential Property;
  6. Negotiations / correspondence with HMRC: £3,000 – £10,000 plus VAT, depending on nature of the issue;
  7. Disputes between beneficiaries and / or executors: the estimate and actual cost will depend on the facts of each individual case;
  8. Resealing a Grant of Probate: £2000 – £3000 plus VAT
  9. Cashing in the UK assets: £500 – £700 plus VAT per asset to be encashed.

Any member of the Private Client team may carry out the work in administering an estate. All work is supervised by a partner in the department. The various fee earners who might carry out the above work are as follows:

Richard Monkcom, partner, qualified in 1983 who has throughout his professional career dealt with the administration of estates and taxation including estates with international elements. Richard’s normal hourly rate is £395 per hour;

Roy Campbell, partner, qualified in 1980. Roy has dealt with more than 60 non-contentious probates in all his career. Very used to dealing with the sensitivities of family and heirs in difficult times. Roy’s normal hourly rate is £435 per hour;

Neil Morris, partner, qualified in 1977. He has extensive experience in complex domestic and international estates, some of which have exceeded £100m. Experience in all types of assets including business interests including Lloyds underwriting interests, farming interests, media issues and complex financial arrangements. Neil’s normal hourly rate is £395 per hour;

Robert Macro, partner, qualified in 2002 and has undertaken and supervised probate applications for both UK and non-UK based clients with a variety of assets and international aspects. Rob’s normal hourly rate is £395 per hour;

Helen Freely, partner, qualified in 2004 and has dealt with the administration of over 40 non-contentious probates during her career including acting as executor and independent administrator of highly complex estates or ones where there is discord between beneficiaries.   They have often had international elements to them and complex taxation issues to deal with. Helen’s normal hourly rate is £380 per hour;

Matthew Duncan, consultant, qualified in 1998. Matthew has extensive experience in dealing with the administration of estates, and highly complex estates, often with international elements and cross border issues with assets in multiple jurisdictions.  He has a proactive, responsive approach to ensure the administration of an estate is conducted in a co-ordinated and efficient manner. Matthew’s normal hourly rate is £395 per hour;

Paul Levy, senior associate, qualified in September 2011 and his practice covers a broad range of Private Client work including estate planning and inheritance tax planning.  He has substantial experience in advising on non-contentious probate where he has advised executors and trustees and occasionally acted as an executor and trustee. Paul’s normal hourly rate is £285 per hour;

Katie Mitchell, solicitor, qualified in 2015 and assists with the administration of estates and tax planning opportunities for executors and beneficiaries as they arise for UK estates or estates with non-UK assets or elements. Katie can advise on the use of Deeds of Variation and tax compliance during the administration period. Katie’s normal hourly rate is £225 per hour;

Paul Caruana, trust and estate manager, qualified as an ACA accountant in 2007, became FCA in 2017 (ICAEW) and CTA in 2012 (CIOT). He has had experience of both large and small estates including those with BPR assets and private company shareholdings as well as properties. Paul’s normal hourly rate is £225 per hour.

The departmental trainee solicitor will sometimes work on non-contentious probate matters, but always under the supervision of a partner in the department.

If you require any further information please speak to any member of the Private Client department noted above.

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