Probate Pricing

The death of a loved one is an upsetting experience that each of us will face during our lifetime. The legal aspects involved in dealing with the administration of the estate can be overwhelming, confusing and often stressful. Having compassionate, experienced legal advice will make this difficult situation much easier for you and the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.

Why Us

At Rowberry Morris we have an experienced team of specialist lawyers who can assist you with every aspect involved in the administration of the estate.  Our dedicated team of experts deal with straightforward estates through to estates involving complex matters, such as business assets, the estates of non-UK residents, those involving overseas assets and beneficiaries as well as insolvent estates. 

We are aware that administering an estate comes at a time of grief and high emotion, and that you may not know the processes and legal requirements.  We will treat you with dignity and respect, use clear language and keep legal jargon to a minimum.  We will advise you on the issues involved in the estate and the options for dealing with them and explain what you can expect from us.

We will explain at the outset what the costs are likely to be and also give you a clear time estimate for dealing with the administration of the deceased’s estate.  We will carry out your work in a timely manner, keeping you fully informed of progress and will respond promptly to your enquiries.  We will notify you if we think that either the costs or time estimates have changed so that you can be confident we are handling matters for you in a cost effective and efficient way. 

We are proud to hold the Lexcel Accreditation issued by the Law Society.  This means the firm undergoes a rigorous annual audit process, which ensures that we maintain the highest level of client care.  Rowberry Morris is also a member of LawNet, a nationwide network of firms committed to quality standards and best practice.     A number of our lawyers are also full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Pricing

The work involved in dealing with a deceased person’s estate can vary hugely depending on circumstances. 

We offer a range of probate services so you can choose one which best suits your needs.  We will meet with you at the outset to discuss the estate and the level of help and support that you require from us.  At that meeting, we will provide you with details of our charges, which will reflect the time required, the level of complexity involved and expertise of the adviser best suited to manage the matter on your behalf. 

Our Team                              

Name

                                               

Hourly Rate (plus VAT and disbursements)

Helen Greenwood

£250.00

Roger Crouch  

£250.00

Alexandra Webb

£225.00

Alexandra Wright

£225.00

Oliver Campbell

£215.00

 

Please note, if partners of Rowberry Morris are appointed to act as Executors, our hourly rates are increased by £10 plus VAT per hour.

Administration Team

£100.00 - £125.00

Grant only applications

There may be certain circumstances whereby you only require assistance in applying for and obtaining the Grant of Representation – that is a Grant of Probate, if there is a valid will and active executors, or a Grant of Letters of Administration, if there is no will, or a will without active executors.

For this application we will

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter.
  • Identify the type of probate application you require.
  • Draft the appropriate Statement of Truth for Executors or Administrators.
  • Prepare the appropriate Inheritance Tax account.
  • Lodge the Inheritance tax account with HMRC if form IHT400 (the long form) is required and advise how to settle the Inheritance tax liability (if any).
  • Submit the application to the Probate Registry, with the Inheritance tax account if Form IHT205 (the short form) is completed and, if applicable, Form IHT217.
  • Upon receipt of the Grant, provide you with sealed copies.

We will not

  • Undertake any verification of the asset values.
  • Deal with any of the pre or post grant administration.
  • Notify or contact any of the beneficiaries of the estate.

You will provide

  • Full details of the assets and liabilities of the estate at the date of death.
  • The death certificate and, where appropriate, the original Will.
  • If appropriate, all the information required for Form IHT217 to claim the unused inheritance tax allowance of the deceased’s late spouse or civil partner.

Our charges, excluding VAT and disbursements:

IHT205 only required                                     £800 - £1,000

IHT205 and IHT217                                       £1,000 - £1,200

IHT400 – no Inheritance tax liability              £1,500 - £2,200

IHT400 – Inheritance tax due                        £1,750 - £2,500

Following issue of the Grant, should you require any further assistance in dealing with the estate we will be happy to provide you with a costs and time estimate for the work you instruct us to undertake on your behalf. 

Full Probate administration

The fees will vary and are dependent upon individual circumstances.  Our charges reflect the level of complexity involved and the expertise of the adviser best suited to manage the matter.

Our charges for Full Probate Administration, excluding VAT and disbursements

 

Phase 1

Phase 2

Total

Simple Estate

£1,000

£1,000

£2,000

Average Estate

£2,000 - £5,000

£2,000 - £5,000

£4,000 - £10,000

Complex Estate

£4,000 - £8,000

£4,000 - £10,000

£8,000 - £18,000

For example, if there is a valid Will or a simple intestacy, one beneficiary, one property, one or two Bank accounts and no Inheritance tax to pay, this will be a simple estate.

If there is a valid Will or simple intestacy, a small number of beneficiaries, one property and a number of Bank accounts and investments, this will be an average estate whether Inheritance tax is payable or not. 

If there are multiple beneficiaries, numerous properties, multiple bank accounts, other investments and business interests, with the estate being liable to pay Inheritance tax, this will be a complex estate. 

The following elements of advice and activity will generally be included in our full probate administration retainer:

We will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter.

Phase 1 – Pre-Grant

  • Advise the executors or administrators on their duties.
  • Advise on the terms and interpretation of the Will or the terms of the intestacy rules.
  • Identify the beneficiaries entitled under the Will or intestacy and notify them of their entitlement.
  • Notify authorities and creditors of the death.
  • Deal with the deceased’s income tax and capital gains tax to the date of death.
  • Obtain date of death valuations of all assets and liabilities of the estate.
  • Prepare the appropriate Inheritance tax account and claim Inheritance tax allowances for the deceased’s estate and, where appropriate, the unused Inheritance tax allowances for the deceased’s late spouse or civil partner.
  • Place Statutory Notices in the London Gazette and local newspaper (undertaken post Grant if there is no Will).
  • Undertake Unclaimed Asset register search and Certainty Will search.
  • Lodge the Inheritance tax account with HMRC if form IHT400 (the long form) is required.
  • Make arrangements for the payment of any Inheritance tax.
  • Prepare the appropriate Statement of Truth .
  • Submit the application to the Probate Registry, with the Inheritance tax account if Form IHT205 (the short form) is completed and, if applicable, Form IHT217.

Phase 2 – Post Grant

  • Collect in the assets of the estate.
  • Pay liabilities and administration expenses of the estate.
  • Deal with income tax and capital gains tax during the administration period.
  • Obtain Inheritance Tax clearance certificate from HMRC.
  • Pay legacies and undertake bankruptcy searches against beneficiaries.
  • Prepare estate accounts for approval by the personal representatives.
  • Distribute the estate to residuary beneficiaries and undertake bankruptcy searches against them.
  • Prepare income tax certificates for the residuary beneficiaries.

Timescale

Grant only applications

It is difficult to predict how long it is likely to take to obtain the Grant of Representation.  We aim to lodge the application for the Grant of Representation on your behalf with the Probate Registry within two months of being instructed if there is no tax to pay, or within three to four months if there is tax to pay.

Full Probate administration

Again it is difficult to predict how long it is likely to complete the full probate administration.  For an average estate, we aim to lodge the application for the Grant of Representation with the Probate Registry within four to six months from receipt of instructions from you in Phase 1.  Phase 2 usually takes between six to nine months.  These time guidelines are approximate and each estate will vary depending on the assets and the matters involved.

The administration of the estate could be delayed by a number of factors.  For example, if the estate includes a property that is to be sold, the administration of the estate cannot be concluded until the sale has been completed.

The Executors may consider it appropriate not to distribute the estate until ten months has elapsed from the issue of the Grant of Probate to protect themselves from personal liability in the event of a successful claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  If partners of Rowberry Morris are appointed as Executors they will not distribute the estate until that ten month period has elapsed.

Disbursements (For Both Options)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the Probate Registry fee. We handle the payment of the disbursements to third parties on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but do require all disbursements to be paid in advance unless there are sufficient funds held in our client account.

Anticipated Disbursements

Both Options

 

Probate application fee

£155.00

Office copies of the Grant

£1.50 per copy

Full Probate Administration

 

Land Registry search fee

£3.00 per property

Bankruptcy search fee

£2.00 per beneficiary

Lawyer checker fee

£3.00 per beneficiary

Stockbroker – share valuation

From £50.00

Chartered Surveyors property valuation

From £400.00

S27 Trustee Act 1925 Notices

Approx. £200.00

Certainty Will search

£114.00

Experian Unclaimed Asset search

£25.00

Inheritance Tax

There are various factors that will affect any Inheritance Tax due on an estate, including the size of the estate and any measures that were put in place by the deceased to limit the estates tax liability.

We do not believe that it would be sensible to attempt to provide at this stage an estimate of any tax that may be payable. We would advise you to look on the HMRC Website to calculate Inheritance Tax which may be due, the calculators can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement

Additional Costs

The cost of selling or transferring a property is not included in the prices shown above.  If you require this service, please let us know and we will provide you with an estimate in that regard.

There are a number of factors that may lead to additional costs applying.  If any additional costs will apply we will discuss the same with you at the earliest opportunity and advise of the additional fees before proceeding further. 

Examples of where an additional charge may apply are:

  • Substantial lifetime gifts made by the deceased, which require tracing and investigating.
  • Making enquiries about missing beneficiaries or verifying their claims to the estate.
  • Dealing with enquiries raised by HMRC following submission of the Inheritance Tax account.
  • Advice on foreign assets or domicile.
  • Claiming monies due from life assurance policies held in trust or from pension death in service arrangements held in trust.
  • The deceased was a beneficiary of a trust.
  • Advising the trustees of any trust set up under the terms of the Will or arising on intestacy. 
  • Deed of Variation by a beneficiary.
  • Lack of clarity over assets owned by the deceased.
  • Assets are to be transferred to beneficiaries.
  • The deceased had an investment portfolio or portfolios.
  • In the event of a dispute as to the validity of the Will, between executors, between beneficiaries or claims made against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  If advice on any such disputes is require, our Contentious Probate Department will be pleased to advise and they will inform you of the likely costs involved.

Key Milestones

With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:

  • Applying for Grant of Probate
  • Obtaining Grant of Probate
  • Settling Liabilities
  • Collecting funds ready for distribution
  • Producing Estate accounts
  • Distributing funds

As no two estates are the same and the level of help and advice that each client requires will vary, please do contact Rowberry Morris.   We can discuss with you your particular requirements and provide you with an estimate of costs and timescale for dealing with that work on your behalf.             

GLOSSARY: 

Estate: The value of all money, belongings, property and assets the deceased owned, or had an interest in, at the date of death.

Grant of Probate : The legal authority often needed by the person who is dealing with the deceased person’s estate when there is a Will.

Executor : The person or people named in the Will to deal with the estate.

Grant of Letters of Adminstration : The proof of legal authority that may be needed by the person or people dealing with a deceased person’s estate when

  • there is no Will
  • any Will is invalid
  • there is a Will but no Executor who is willing or able to act.

Grant of Representation  : General term used for the Grant needed for the estate, being either a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.