UPDATE – COVID 19. The office is now open.
To maintain social distancing we are limiting the number of people in the office. The office door remains closed but some meetings are taking place by appointment.

Charges for Probate

Our fees are usually based on a combination of a time charge at an hourly rate and a percentage fee.

The amount of time spent on each case can vary considerably.  Each estate will have unique requirements.

There are many factors which can increase the amount of time it will take to administer an estate and these may include:-

  1. Where the assets in an estate are extensive, unusual or uncertain.  There may be more than one property, significant assets and multiple shareholdings.  The deceased may have had an interest in a lifetime trust, foreign assets or an unadministered estate.
  2. Where the deceased had undertaken tax planning during their lifetime, there may be pre-death tax issues to resolve.
  3. Where the deceased had made extensive lifetime gifts, it can take time to ascertain the details and correctly attribute exemptions and to verify whether or not IHT is chargeable on gifts.
  4. There may be a large number of beneficiaries to contact and trace.  Where the residuary beneficiaries include charities, certain procedures will be needed to satisfy the requirements of the charities.

At the outset of every matter, once either a meeting has taken place or information about the estate has been obtained, we will give an estimate of how much time we believe it will take to administer the estate.  We will also agree exactly what work the time estimate will cover.

Sometimes we may assist just in preparing the inheritance tax account and obtaining the grant while the executors deal with the administration.  In other cases we may deal with the estate in its entirety.

The hourly rate charge will depend on the level of experience of the fee earner dealing with the matter.  Our hourly rates are shown on the attached list (@ 1 May 2021.)

All hourly rates are subject to VAT at 20%.

Other Charges

In addition to our charges there may be fees paid to other organisations including:-

  • Probate application fees of around £165 depending upon the number of copies of the grant required.  (No VAT.)
  • Statutory advertisements in a local newspaper and the London Gazette to protect against claims from unknown creditors.  The cost is usually between £180 to £220 plus VAT.
  • Bankruptcy searches against beneficiaries of £2 plus VAT per beneficiary.


The following examples may be of use.

Medium Complexity Estate

We are asked to deal with an estate containing the following assets:-

  1. Four bank accounts.
  2. A property.
  3. A life assurance bond.

The work to be carried out is:-

  • Writing to all financial institutions to obtain values.
  • Obtaining a valuation of the property and contents.
  • Scheduling lifetime gifts to be taken into account and claiming the appropriate allowances.
  • Learning that part of the nil rate band in the spouse’s estate had been utilised by Deed of Variation.  Claiming the remaining transferable nil rate band (an inheritance tax allowance) and as a result completing form IHT400, the more complex inheritance tax required.
  • Preparing the executors statement of truth applying for a Grant of Probate.
  • Gathering in the assets after Probate has been granted.
  • Arranging for liabilities to be paid and for income tax compliance as required.
  • Preparing estate accounts for approval by the executors and distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

In this case our estimated fees were £5,400.00 to £6,500.00 plus VAT.

This was based on a time charge of 16 to 20 hours and a value element of £1,000.00.

Any charges for selling or transferring the property would be separately quoted by our Property Team.

High Complexity Estates

We are asked to deal with an estate containing the following assets:-

  1. A property.
  2. An investment portfolio.
  3. A lifetime interest in a trust.

The work to be carried out is:-

  • Writing to all financial institutions to obtain values.
  • Obtaining a valuation of the property and chattels.
  • Completing an inheritance tax return (including an application for IHT at reduced rate because of the percentage of the charitable gifts) and paying inheritance tax as required.
  • Preparing the statement of truth and applying for a Grant of Probate.
  • Gathering in the assets after Probate has been granted.
  • Arranging for liabilities to be paid and for income tax compliance as required.
  • Helping manage repairs and renovations to a property which is to be occupied by a beneficiary of a will trust.
  • Liaising with the trustee of the lifetime trust of which the deceased was a beneficiary.
  • Liaising with an accountant and HMRC in connection with the correct attribution of inheritance tax between 11 family beneficiaries and 20 charities.
  • Liaising with beneficiaries throughout and making interim payments.

In this case the value of the estate exceeds £3,000,000.  Fees of £28,000.00 to £30,000.00 plus VAT were quoted.  This included an estimated time charge of 47-54 hours and a value element of £15,000.00.