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Probate Costs

Bereavement Advice, Probate and Administration of Estates

Bereavement is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. At Tollers, our empathetic team offers a bespoke service to Personal Representatives (both Administrators and Executors), designed to guide them through the legal requirements of the estate administration and probate processes with minimum stress.

We can help with estates where the person passed away with or without a Will. Find out more by contacting one of our team or read on below for more information about our services and fees.

Application for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration only

We will:

  • Review such documentation as you send to us;
  • Prepare the Inheritance Tax account (if required) and Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application;
  • Send the relevant paperwork to you for signing;
  • Submit the application to the Probate Registry (additional disbursements will apply, see below);
  • Send you the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) and the requested number of court-sealed official copies.

We will not:

  • Contact any third parties or handle any funds except where they are required for the payment of fees.

Our fee for this service for estates where an Inheritance Tax account is not required is £950 + VAT (a total of £1,140). There will also be a court fee of £273 + £1.50 for each additional sealed official copy as required.

If an Inheritance Tax account is required, our fee is £1,950 + VAT (a total of £2,340) if no Inheritance Tax is payable or £2,250 +VAT (a total of £2,700) if Inheritance Tax is payable. There will also be a court fee of £273 + £1.50 for each additional sealed official copy as required.

Before any grant application is made, we strongly advise carrying out a search of the National Will Register. The recommended search costs £105 + VAT (a total of £126).

Full Estate Administration Service

If you choose our full estate administration service Tollers will;

  • Provide you with your own dedicated and experienced advisor, supported by junior members of the team and supervised by a Partner or Senior Associate in the Department;
  • Identify the correct Executors or Administrators and guide them through the estate administration process;
  • Advise the Executor or Administrator on how to protect themselves from personal liability when dealing with the estate;
  • Obtain the relevant information to allow the accurate completion of the paperwork to obtain the Grant of Representation;
  • Arrange for the payment of the funeral bill from the deceased’s own accounts (provided there are sufficient funds available);
  • Complete the Inheritance Tax account (if required) and prepare the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application;
  • Assist in arranging the payment of any Inheritance Tax due;
  • Submit the Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration) application on your behalf (additional disbursements will apply, see below);
  • Identify and communicate with the beneficiaries of the estate;
  • Collect in the deceased’s assets and draft an accurate account of the estate;
  • Arrange for the transfer or sale of any properties (additional conveyancing and third-party fees will apply, see below);
  • Submit a corrective account to the HMRC where asset or liability values have changed during the administration period;
  • Carry out the required financial and identity checks on the beneficiaries;
  • Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or the Intestacy Rules;
  • Supply the Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries with final copies of the accounts.

The vast majority of estates can be dealt with without the need for a full Inheritance Tax account (IHT400) and in such cases, we anticipate that the administration of the estate will take approximately 6 to 12 months to complete. This timescale is subject to any property sale, where required.

In cases where a full Inheritance Tax account is required, it is likely to take longer to deal with the estate and we will give you an estimate when we are aware of the full facts.

How our fees are calculated

We charge for our services on the basis of the time spent on the matter. The hourly rate charged is dependent on the person who is responsible for your matter. Please see below the details of the solicitors and legal managers in our team, along with confirmation of their hourly rates. In addition, our team is supported by a number of Paralegals and Trainee Solicitors whose hourly rate is £190 + VAT (a total of £228).

In addition to our fees, there will be a number of payments to third parties (disbursements) which are in addition to our estimate. Likely disbursements are as follows:

  • Probate Court fee – £273 (+ £1.50 per additional sealed copy as required);
  • Land Registry search fees – £3.00 + VAT (a total of £3.60) per property;
  • Bankruptcy searches – £2.00 + VAT (a total of £2.40) per beneficiary;
  • National Will Search – In order to fully protect you as personal representative(s), we strongly recommend that you authorise us to conduct a search of the National Will Register to confirm that the Will we are dealing with is the last Will and Testament. The cost of this search is £105 plus VAT (a total of £125) ;
  • Section 27 Trustee Act Notices – We recommend placing Trustee Act Notices in the London Gazette and a local newspaper. The purpose is to give notice to all those who may have a claim on the estate (either creditors or those who may believe they ought to inherit) to bring these claims forward within a set period of time, typically two months. We recommend that these notices are placed where any of the personal representatives are not a beneficiary of the estate, as the notices will protect them from personal liability if the estate is distributed without knowledge of an unknown debt or claim. We also recommend that they are placed in cases where a deceased person was known to have a large number of debts to ensure that no debts are missed. The costs involved would be in the region of £200 – £300 + VAT (a total of £240 – £360);
  • Unclaimed Assets Register search – If you are unclear on whether you have full details of all of the deceased’s assets, it is possible to do a search that will show any dormant accounts and assets in the deceased’s name. Whilst not exhaustive, the search is very thorough and will usually bring up all accounts so is useful to ensure that no assets are missed. The cost for an Unclaimed Assets Register search is £185 + VAT (a total of £222).

Depending on the assets in the estate, there may also be additional agents and organisations that need to be paid, including but not limited to the following:

  • Professional valuer/auctioneer;
  • Accountant;
  • Stockbroker;
  • Estate agent;
  • House clearance agent;
  • Tracing agent/genealogist;
  • Conveyancing Fees, where a property is being sold by the estate;
  • Land Registry Transfer Fees, where a property is being transferred to a beneficiary;
  • Property preservation costs including insurance, utilities and in some cases Council Tax until sale or transfer;
  • HMRC – inheritance tax, income tax or capital gains tax.

Whether these fees will be applicable will depend on the nature of the estate and the assets involved. If a particular disbursement is required, we will inform you accordingly and advise you of the anticipated fees once we have this information.

As fees can vary greatly between different types of estate, it will be helpful to provide a working example below.

Example of Fees for our Full Estate Administration Service

To give you an example of our fees, we will use a fictional estate where the deceased left a Will appointing two executors (not Partners of the firm). They left a property worth £250,000 (which is to be sold), four bank accounts with three different banks with a total balance of £80,000, two credit cards and a mobile phone bill. The estate is left to four beneficiaries. We would estimate that our fees will be in the region of £5,000 + VAT (a total of £6,000) and disbursements.

This estimate is based on the assumption that there are no disputes between beneficiaries and/or the executors, there is no need to submit a full Inheritance Tax account, and that no claims are made against the estate.

Our fee estimate is based on experience of dealing with similar estates. If the property sale proceeds quickly and we do not have lots of correspondence with the beneficiaries then our fees may end up being lower than the initial estimate.

Where there are fewer assets, debts, beneficiaries or where there is no property to deal with, our costs for dealing with the estate will be lower. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs with you and can then provide you with a more accurate estimate or in some cases a fixed price.

Where might our fee be higher than the estimate above

The estimate above is to give you a guide only as to what the likely costs might be, as every estate will vary. There are issues that can arise during the administration of an estate which will mean more time needs to be spent, and the costs therefore will be higher. Some examples are listed below:

  • If there is no Will and investigation is required to establish the correct beneficiaries of the estate;
  • Where beneficiaries cannot be easily located or contacted;
  • Where the deceased was the beneficiary of a Trust;
  • Where there are more complex assets to deal with such as shares or business interests;
  • Where we are expected to carry out regular inspections of a property (a typical requirement of unoccupied property insurance);
  • Where there is a dispute between any parties;
  • Where there is the possibility of any claim on the estate;
  • Where there is an actual claim against the estate.

Our Team

All of our team are experienced in estate administration and work together to provide you with the best possible service. They regularly attend both internal and external training events to ensure that they are fully up to date on all legal and regulatory matters.

You will usually be allocated to a member of the team based on your location and the complexity of the estate in question but if you have a specific preference then please let us know when you get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Although you will have a dedicated specialist responsible for your matter they will be assisted by more junior members of the team and where junior members of the team are carrying out a particular piece of work, lower hourly rates will apply.

Sharon Brown – Partner and Head of Trusts and Estates South

Sharon Brown qualified as a solicitor in September 2009 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from the University of Hertfordshire. She has been a part of the Tollers team since June 2016 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates, and applications to the Court of Protection. Sharon is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Sharon is based at our Stevenage office and charges £285 + VAT per hour (a total of £342 per hour).

Kate Godber – Partner and Head of Trusts and Estates North

Kate Godber qualified as a solicitor in September 2007 having obtained a Graduate Diploma of Law from the College of York,  followed by the LPC at De Montfort University, Leicester. Kate is also a qualified Chartered tax advisor qualifying in 2012.  She has been a part of the Tollers team since October 2021 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate, the administration of estates and trust creation and administration.

Kate is based at our Corby office and charges £285 + VAT per hour (a total of £342 per hour).

Jeremy Simmonds – Solicitor and Partner

Jeremy qualified as a solicitor in November 1997 having obtained an LLB degree from the University of Buckingham and studied for the Legal Practice Course at The College Of Law at York. He has been part of the Tollers team since December 2016, and is a Partner at the firm. Jeremy deals with Wills, Probate and Estate Administration, as well as Powers of Attorney and Court Of Protection applications.

Jeremy is based at our Oakham office and charges £275 + VAT per hour (a total of £330 per hour).

Sarah Horn – Senior Associate Solicitor

Sarah qualified as a Solicitor in March 2015 having obtained her LLB degree in Law from De Monfort University and studied for her Legal Practice Course at the same University. Sarah has been a part of the Tollers team since June 2006 and is currently undertaking the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) examinations. Sarah deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Estate and the creation and administration of Trusts.

Sarah is based at our Corby office and charges £250 + VAT per hour (a total of £300 per hour).

Isobel Mann – Senior Associate Solicitor

Isobel Mann qualified as a FILEX (Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives) in 2004 and as a solicitor in 2007.  She has been a part of the Tollers Team since July 2023 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates and Trusts.  Isobel is a fully accredited member of both Solicitors for the Elderly and STEP.

Isobel is based at our Northampton office and charges £250.00 + VAT per hour (a total of £300 per hour).

James Willoughby – Senior Associate Solicitor

James qualified as a Solicitor in May 2019 having obtained a Graduate Diploma in Law from BPP Law School in 2016. He studied the Legal Practice Course at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and graduated in 2017. He joined Tollers in August 2019. James deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, applying for Probate and administering estates.  James is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly

James is based at our Stevenage office and charges £250 + VAT (a total of £300 per hour).

Gabrielle Smith – Associate Solicitor

Gabrielle qualified as a solicitor in May 2018, having obtained an LLB degree in Law from the University of Northampton. She has been a part of the Tollers team since December 2021, and deals with Wills and estate planning, Powers of Attorney, Estate Administration and the creation and administration of Trusts.

Gabrielle is based primarily at our Northampton office and charges £235 + VAT per hour (a total of £282 per hour).

Nicola Dodman – Senior Manager

Nicola is an Associate Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and has been a part of the Tollers Private Client team since August 2004.  Nicola advises on Wills, Inheritance Tax planning, Estates, Declarations of Trust, Powers of Attorney and the creation and administration of Trusts.

Nicola is based at our Northampton office and charges £250 + VAT per hour (a total of £300 per hour).

Cathy Eaton – Senior Manager

Cathy has worked in the legal profession for over 30 years and has specialised in private client matters since 1994.  She joined the team at Tollers in January 2014 and deals with all aspects of wills and estate planning, powers of attorney and probate and estate administration.

Cathy is based at our Kempston office and charges £250 + VAT per hour (a total of £300 per hour).

Joanne Axisa – Associate Legal Executive

Joanne has worked in the area of Trusts and Estates since January 2016 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from the University of Northampton. She has been a part of the Tollers team since June 2022 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates, and applications to the Court of Protection. Joanne is a member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Joanne is based at our Northampton office and charges £235 + VAT per hour (a total of £282 per hour).

Kasia Jeziorska  – Solicitor

Kasia qualified as a solicitor in May 2019 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from the University of Northamptonshire. She has been a part of the Tollers team since June 2023 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates.

Kasia is based at our Northampton office and charges £225 + VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour).

Danielle Burgess  – Solicitor

Danielle Burgess qualified as a solicitor in March 2019 having obtained an LLB degree in Law from Coventry University. Danielle then completed her Legal Practice Course at De Montfort University, Leicester. She has been a part of the Tollers team since March 2023 and deals with wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates.

Danielle is based at our Corby office and charges £225 + VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour).

Alison Taylor – Senior Paralegal

Alison joined Tollers in 2021.  As a Senior Paralegal and junior fee earner, she deals with Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Estate Administration for her clients.

Alison is based in our Corby office and charges £225 + VAT per hour (a total of £270 per hour).

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