Legal Fee Information for Uncontested Probate
Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left to those who are named as inheritors (beneficiaries), in the Will.
Uncontested probate is where there is no dispute over the Will and distribution of assets.
Below we provide you with information on our Legal Fees, disbursements and the length of time it will take to complete your matter.
Legal Fees and Disbursements
Legal Fees are the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from the commencement of your case to conclusion.
- Our average standard legal fee for an uncontested probate matter is between £1500-£2,800 +VAT (a total cost of £1800 – £3360 Inc. VAT). Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.
- Grant of Probate’s only average standard legal fee is £650-£1000+VAT (£780 – £1200 Inc. VAT)
- Our hourly rate for handling an average uncontested probate matter range from £120 – £235 + VAT (£144 – £264 Inc. VAT) – and this will depend on the experience and qualification of the person handling your transaction.
- Director £235+VAT (£264 Inc. VAT)
- Senior Solicitor £220+VAT (£282 Inc. VAT)
- Paralegal £145+VAT (£174 Inc. VAT)
- Legal Assistant £120+VAT (£144 Inc. VAT)
- We will charge the sum of £35 + VAT (£42 Inc. VAT) for Electronic money transfers.
- VAT will be payable on our fees and most disbursements and we will clearly confirm which disbursements carry VAT in our formal quotation or as we advise you to incur them.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We will handle the full process for you. Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where: –
- There is a valid will.
- There is no more than one property.
- There are no more than £325,000 in bank or building society accounts.
- There are no other intangible assets.
- There are 1 – 2 beneficiaries.
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
- There are no claims made against the estate.
- There is no tax clearance awaited for either inheritance or income tax.
If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf, to ensure a smoother process.
You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount. Typical disbursements will include: –
- Probate application fee (Probate Court Fee: £155 plus 50p for every office copy).
- Swearing of the oath (per executor): £7
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches: £2 + VAT (£2.40 Inc. VAT) for each beneficiary
- Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. £70+VAT (£84.00 Inc. VAT)
- Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims. £100+VAT (£120.00 Inc. VAT)
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 – 9 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 20 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6 – 8 weeks.
Once this has been done, and provided it is safe to do so we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 3 – 4 weeks.
Before making any distribution the Executors need to decide whether or not they wish to place Statutory Notices in the newspapers. Statutory Notices are notices which are placed to allow any unknown creditors two months to come forward and make a claim against the Estate. If you do not place the Notices in the newspapers and an unknown creditor comes forward, at a later date, you will be personally liable for any monies due to the unknown creditor
Stages of the Process
The precise stages involved in an uncontested probate vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction: –
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
- Undertaking regulatory checks.
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
- Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require.
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application.
- Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
- Preparing the Statement of Truth for you to sign
- Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
- Obtaining the Probate and securely send a copy to you.
- Collecting and distributing all assets in the estate.
Potential additional costs Further potential costs may arise where: –
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any share-holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50+VAT(£1.80 Inc. VAT) (1 per asset usually).
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
- Advising upon, estate related Inheritance Tax, and submitting Inheritance Tax returns and subsequent formalities.
The following fee-earners deal with uncontested probate work:
Christopher Chandler is a Director and Senior Qualified Solicitor with over 40 years PQE. Christopher qualified as a Solicitor in the 1970s and has expertise all areas of Private Client, Wills
Diana Davis is a Director at Chandler Ray Solicitors and Senior Qualified Solicitor with over 30 years PQE. She qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and joined Chandler Ray in 1998. She has substantial experience of the full range of Private Client (Wills, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of protection matters including Deputyship)
Racheal Rivers, who is supervised by Diana Davis, is a paralegal working exclusively in the private client department. She has been with the firm for over 20 years and supports the qualified staff in correspondence, the preparation of wills and various aspects of estates administration and accounts.
Julie Lloyd is a legal assistant working in the private client department at Chandler Ray Solicitors and is supervised by Diana Davis.
If you have any questions relating to our services and our fees, please call us on 01280 814040 or email email@example.com