Guide to Our Probate Pricing

Following a death, the executors appointed under a Will are often overwhelmed with the amount of information out there telling them what they must, should and could do.

The difficulty is in working out what is good advice and what is simply wrong or scare mongering.

Our approach

At Humber Law, we appreciate that no two deceased’s estates are exactly alike, and we understand that how involved the executors wish to be varies greatly.

Our approach is to start by understanding:

  1. Briefly what the estate comprises (the assets, liabilities, approximate values and the beneficiaries who will inherit);
  2. What the Will says; and
  3. To what extent the executors wish to be involved.

We would then confirm our fees for providing the required legal advice, which includes a detailed list of the tasks we will complete and the tasks we have agreed the executors will complete.

How do we charge?

We will typically provide a fixed fee for the tasks we will complete and an estimate of the timescale to complete those tasks.

This gives the executors peace of mind that the costs will not spiral, and they know from the outset how long it is likely to take.

Typical tasks included

To illustrate, typically where executors want our assistance with administering an estate, the tasks we are asked to complete are:

  1. Review the probate valuations obtained by the executors (typically bank accounts, utility bills, credit cards, funeral fees, DWP statements) and advising whether any additional information is required to satisfy HM Revenue & Customs;
  2. Obtain specific probate valuations, such as a formal valuation of the deceased’s property;
  3. Prepare the Inheritance Tax Return and Grant of Probate application papers;
  4. Meet with the executors to review the draft papers and ensure they are happy with the information to be submitted;
  5. Lodge the Inheritance Tax Return and Grant of Probate application paper and dealing with any enquiries HM Revenue & Customs or the Probate Registry raise;
  6. Forward the Grants of Probate to the executors to enable them to encash the estate (i.e. sell the property, close bank accounts and pay bills);
  7. Prepare Estate Accounts.

Typical cost

Our typical fee for completing the above tasks would be £1,500 plus VAT (£1,800 including VAT).

There would also be a Court Fee of £155.

Where the executors want us to help with more or less tasks, if required we will revise our fee before carrying out any work.

Typical timescales

Whilst the time it can take to administer an estate often depends on the third parties we have to deal with (the banks, HM Revenue & Customs, the Probate Registry etc), we would typically expect to be able to finalise an estate administration within 6 months of being instructed.

Where we encounter delays, such as if it takes longer than expected for us to obtain probate valuations, we will revise the timescale as soon as we can so that the executors are aware exactly what is happening at all times.

Who will be doing the work?

The work will be carried out by David Stokes, a qualified solicitor with over 11 years’ experience of dealing with probate work.

David is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and a full member of the Association of Taxation Technicians.

At Humber Law, to help support our staff to provide a hassle-free service for our clients, we make use of technology to streamline the estate administration process as much as we can. This includes:

  1. Providing clients with access to an online portal, where they can view copy documentation in real time (such as valuations as they are received by Humber Law);
  2. Capturing information correctly at the outset, that can then be relied upon during the estate administration (i.e. the date of death only needs to be captured once, avoiding the time wasted having to forever find and check the death certificate);
  3. Storing key dates and automatically generating reminders (such as the deadline for submitting the Inheritance Tax Return); and
  4. Operating a paperless office, so that clients and Humber Law have remote access to any documentation as and when required.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss how we can help you administer an estate please contact us on 01482 872739.