Probate pricing transparency – How much will it cost?
Wright Hassall offer a range of fixed fee and time-based services depending on the activities required.
Fixed fee only services – where a full IHT return is not needed
- Obtaining a Grant of Probate (IHT205 form) - £995 plus VAT
- Obtaining a Grant of Probate claiming a double nil rate band (IHT205 and IHT217) - £1,150 plus VAT
Time based services - Fees are based on hourly rates (excluding VAT) which range from £155 to £200 depending on the seniority and experience of the individual advising.
NB: This fee scale is a guide only. We will send you a questionnaire to complete so we can establish how much work will be involved in administering the estate before giving you an accurate estimate. In most situations, we are able to offer you the choice of a time based estimate range or a fixed rate quote.
- Obtaining a Grant of Probate where a full IHT return is due but no tax is payable (IHT400) - £2,000 to £3,000 plus VAT
- Obtaining a Grant of probate where a full IHT return is due and tax is payable (IHT400) - £2,400 to £4,000 plus VAT
- Full estate administration – based on simple estate example – in the region of £3,000 to £5,000 plus VAT
- Full estate administration – based on complex estate example – in the region of £6,000 to £12,000 plus VAT
Simple estate example – (could include the following)
|Valid Will with 1-2 executors acting
||Up to 5 pecuniary legacies
|Up to 5 residuary beneficiaries
||No trusts/disputes or claims
|Up to 8 bank/building society/liquid assets
||Up to 1 property
|Up to 3 shareholdings
||No inheritance tax to pay
HMRC shorter return (IHT205) required
Complex estate example – (could include the following)
|Valid will with up to 4 executors
||Straightforward intestacy position
|Over 5 pecuniary legacies
||Over 5 residuary beneficiaries
|Trust in the will or a connected lifetime trust
|Multiple cash assets
||1 or more property
|Investment portfolio/ number of shareholdings
|HMRC full return (form IHT400) required
||Inheritance tax payable
Income tax returns to be completed
Complex estate accounts/devolution
Matters in all estate administrations which may give rise to additional costs
- No Will (intestacy) or proving a missing or damaged will Registering the death or arranging the funeral
- Large number of individual shareholdings or managed portfolios
- Arranging property insurance and managing the utility accounts until a property is sold
- Complex inheritance tax situations, including claims for agricultural or business assets
- Missing beneficiaries
- Disputes between executors and/or beneficiaries
Disbursements – third party costs which may by incurred during the administration (all figures inclusive of VAT if applicable)
Probate Court fees (£155) and office copies (£1.50 per copy) Will and Financial asset searches (£136.80 and £186)
Bankruptcy searches (£2.40 for UK, £100 estimated for overseas) Statutory notices (£170 estimated)
Dependent on the nature of the estate there may also be valuation fees, estate agents commission and conveyancing costs, and any taxes payable to HMRC in the estate. For more information on taxes, please see the Gov.UK website.
Timescales – how long will it take?
For our Obtaining the Grant of Probate services, we would expect the executors to provide us with all valuations of the estate assets and liabilities and we would expect to draft the papers for signing and apply in 2-3 weeks following receipt of the information. The Grant of Probate should issue 3-4 weeks after that if a full IHT return is not required, or if a full return is required, the time to issue should be 6-8 weeks, subject to Probate Court and HMRC turnarounds.
For full estate administrations, where we will notify companies and beneficiaries,
and arrange valuation of the assets and liabilities, we would expect to be able to apply in 4-10 weeks depending on the complexity of assets. The issue of the Grant would then be as detailed above, subject to making any arrangements for payment of inheritance tax required.
Once the Grant of Probate is issued, we would arrange to collect in the assets, pay any liabilities and expenses, pay any legacies and distribute the estate. This can take between 2-4 months for simple estates and can take between 6-18 months for more complex estates where delays can be encountered through agreeing the inheritance tax position, selling the property, dealing with the investments, and settling the income and capital gains tax position.
A full set of estate accounts will be produced for the executor’s approval at the end of the administration before final distribution which will be sent to the residuary beneficiaries when making final distributions.
Examples of full administrations undertaken Simple estates
For an estate valued at £350,000 passing to two residuary beneficiaries which included one property and seven bank accounts we charged an administration fee of £3,100 plus VAT.
For an estate valued at £480,000 which had six pecuniary legacies and passed to one residuary beneficiary and included, one property, nine bank accounts, bonds and policies, and one shareholding, we charged an administration fee of £5,400 plus VAT.
For an estate valued at £600,000 with no inheritance tax due which passed to one pecuniary legacy, a mixture of twenty-five charitable and non-charitable residuary beneficiaries in unequal shares and included one property and nine bank accounts and policies, we charged an administration fee of £7,500 plus VAT
For an estate valued at £500,000 which was subject to inheritance tax, had seven pecuniary legacies and passed to three residuary beneficiaries and included one property, four bank accounts and eight investment holdings we charged an administration fee of £9,200 plus VAT.
For an estate valued at £1,000,000 which was subject to inheritance tax, had three
pecuniary legacies and two residuary beneficiaries and included two properties, 5 accounts, nine investment holdings, claims for agricultural and business property relief and a partial transferrable nil rate band we charged an administration fee of £12,300 plus VAT.
Quality assured: Wright Hassall is Lexcel accredited, the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark for practice management and client care.