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Costs for Uncontested Probates of UK Assets
Druces Private Wealth
Costs for Uncontested Probates of UK Assets
The Solicitors Regulation Authority requires solicitors to provide detailed information as to the costs of certain services via our website. This includes probate services in cases where the probate is uncontested and the assets are within the UK.
The information we provide is either the average cost of the work or a range of costs, usually based on hourly rates, and any likely third-party payments (known as “disbursements”).
We also provide information about the solicitors and other fee earners who will work on this type of matter, their qualifications and experience.
The costs information provided is based on our experience of typical transactions or cases. The actual charges may vary, for example, if your case is more or less complex than the norm. We will give you a cost estimate at the outset, taking into account the actual circumstances of your case. We will also update the estimate if complications arise.
Uncontested probate costs with all assets in the UK and a UK Will
The fees we will charge for a typical uncontested probate cover all the things set out below. Our fees are based on the number of hours we take to complete the work multiplied by the hourly rates for the lawyers concerned. A typical uncontested probate will involve:
1. Contacting all the organisations where the deceased held assets (for example, investments and bank accounts), liaising with the Personal Representatives regarding their valuation and ascertaining any liabilities comprised within the Estate;
2. Liaising with professional advisers in respect of the Estate, for example, the deceased’s accountant;
3. Preparing the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax return, for signature by the Executors;
4. Arranging to pay any Inheritance Tax which is due;
5. Preparing the Oath to accompany the application for the Grant,
6. Preparing accounts for the beneficiaries;
7. Liaising with HMRC in relation to Inheritance Tax. (Note that extensive negotiations in relation to tax can increase costs);
8. Collecting in and distributing the assets in accordance with the terms of the Will.
|Value of UK Estate||Likely Duration of Work||Estimated Fees (excluding VAT)|
|£500k or less||6 – 12 months||£3,000 – £16,000|
|£500k – £3m||12 – 18 months||
£13,000 – £20,000 up to grant of probate
+ an additional
£13,000 – £30,000 from probate to final distribution
|£3m – £5m||1 – 2 years||£50,000 – £100,000|
|£5m – £10m||1 – 3 years||£80,000 – £150,000|
|£10m or more||1 – 4 years||£150,000 – £200,000|
The disbursements that may be incurred in addition to these fees include:
• Death certificate fee – https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate
• Probate fee – https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/applying-for-a-grant-of-representation – plus cost for additional copies.
• Swear fees – £5 per Oath plus £2 for each exhibit per executor
• UK bankruptcy searches – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-land-charges-fees
• Advertising in the London Gazette to protect against claims from unknown creditors – https://www.thegazette.co.uk/place-notice/pricing
• Advertising in local newspaper – prices will vary
• Inheritance Tax – https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax
• Bank transfer fees:
◦ Same day UK CHAPS bank transfer – £11
◦ Same day International or Currency bank transfer – £15
◦ (No charge for UK 3 day BACS bank transfers)
• House and contents insurance – prices will vary
The following factors could increase costs (these are not included in the figures 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: £1,000 – £1,500 plus VAT;
5. Conveyancing costs in relation to a property: 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: £2,000 – £3,000 plus VAT
9. Collecting in the UK assets: £500 – £700 plus VAT per asset.
Who to contact
Any member of the Private Wealth team may carry out the work in administering an estate. All work is supervised by a partner in the department. The members of the team are:
Matthew Duncan, Partner, 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 £450 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 £450 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 £450 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 £450 per hour;
Paul Levy, Partner, 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 £400 per hour;
Michael Rowland, Senior Associate, qualified in September 2011. Michael has experience in assisting executors in the administration of simple and complex estates, including those with an offshore connection through asset ownership or citizenship. Michael’s normal hourly rate is £310 per hour;
Paul Caruana, Team Lead – Tax Compliance and Disclosure, 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 £250 per hour;
Krupa Thakker. Associate, qualified in 2016. She has experience dealing with the administration of UK estates of varying complexity, including international elements. Krupa’s normal hourly rate is £275 per hour;
Alice Johnson, Associate, qualified in 2017. She has experience dealing with the administration of UK estates, with international elements often including multiple and charity beneficiaries. Alice’s normal hourly rate is £275 per hour;
Neil Morris, Consultant, 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, Lloyds underwriting interests, farming interests, media issues and complex financial arrangements. Neil’s normal hourly rate is £395 per hour;
All hourly rates excluded VAT. A trainee solicitor may 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 Wealth team noted above.
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