Basis of our charge
If you instruct Holden & Co LLP to deal with an uncontested probate you will be charged for the time we spend on the matter at our usual hourly rates (link?) plus VAT and disbursements.
No ‘percentage of estate’ fee
Unlike some other firms we do not make an additional charge based on a percentage of the value of estate.
Initial free ‘no-obligation’ appointment
Total costs in uncontested probate matters can vary considerably depending on many factors such as the size and nature of the estate, the different types and range of assets and liabilities, the number and location of beneficiaries here in the UK, or abroad and whether or not problems are encountered along the way.
It is therefore difficult to give you an estimate of the likely costs without first seeing you for an initial ‘no-obligation’ appointment (the first hour of which will be free of charge) so that we can collect information from you and assess how much work we think is going to be involved.
Our charges for the ‘average’ estate
To give you an idea, our charges for the average uncomplicated estate that we deal with usually range between £2,500 and £5,500 plus VAT and disbursements.
However, in some cases our charges can be much less, or much more. For example, costs on matters we have dealt with have been as little or as much as:
· £850 plus VAT and disbursements for a very simple, low value estate where our instructions were limited to preparing the basic Inheritance Tax Return of Estate Information form and the necessary Oath from information provided by the executors and then making the application to the Probate Registry, but where the executors did everything else;
· £80,000 plus VAT and disbursements for a large and complex estate with a variety of assets including many valuable works of art and a large number of beneficiaries here in the UK and abroad requiring many hours of work over an extended period of time where we were instructed to collect in the information about all the assets and liabilities of the deceased, obtain valuations, complete the detailed Inheritance Tax Return and schedules, make the arrangements to pay Inheritance Tax, apply for probate and then realise the assets and administer/distribute the estate in accordance with the deceased’s will.
Likely disbursements in any estate are the Probate Registry fee of £155 (plus 50p per sealed copy Grant) and possibly some Land Registry fees of a few pounds if there is a property involved.
The best thing to do to get a meaningful estimate of the likely costs is to make an appointment to see us for initial discussion.
Please note that if the estate includes a residential property that you wish to be sold our conveyancing team can deal with that for you and will charge their usual rates (link?)in addition to our charges for the probate work.
It is difficult to give meaningful estimates about the time it will take to deal with a probate matter because each estate is different.
As a general indication we usually aim to be in a position to apply for probate within 3 months of receiving formal instructions. It can then take the probate registry around 3 weeks to deal with the application. After probate has been obtained it can then take several months, depending on the size and nature of the estate, to realize all the assets, pay all the liabilities, prepare the estate accounts and make the final distribution to beneficiaries.
In other words, it can take around 6-9 months to conclude an uncontested probate. However, for some simple estates it can be much quicker and for others it can be much longer. We will be able to give you an indication after an initial appointment when we have assessed the amount of work there is for us to do.
We will always endeavour to keep you updated as the matter progresses.
©2015 Holden+Co Solicitors