Costs relating to probate applications

Probate Applications and Estates

The complexity of probate applications varies depending on a number of factors such as:

  • value of the estate,
  • whether there was a valid Will
  • number of beneficiaries
  • number and types of assets involved.
  • enquiries raised by HMRC

As part of any fee quoted we will:-

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or probate fee earner to work on your matter.
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
  • Ascertain the value of the estate, if necessary.
  • Accurately identify the type of probate application you will require.
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application.
  • Complete the probate application and the relevant HMRC forms and liaise at this stage with HMRC, if necessary.
  • If the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax, calculate the Inheritance Tax payable in order to apply for the Grant of Probate.
  • If the estate is taxable, liaise with the relevant financial institutions to pay the said tax.
  • Submit the relevant papers to HMRC and/or the Probate Court on your behalf.
  • Obtain the Probate.
  • Dealing with any queries HMRC may have to include paying the balance of any Inheritance Tax owed
  • Completing further forms if the value of the estate has changed since the probate valuations and either more tax is payable by the estate or repayable to the estate from HMRC.
  • Collect all the assets
  • If required, report to HMRC and finalise the deceased’s income and capital gains to the date of death.
  • If required, pay any debts, liabilities and legacies.
  • Deal with the transfer of assets specifically bequeathed.
  • Report the estate’s income and capital gains to HMRC.
  • Prepare Estate Accounts and income statements for the beneficiaries.
  • Distribute the estate.

If you need assistance in administering the estate, i.e. collecting in and then distributing the estate the, fees quoted will be towards the higher end of the range. The fees will also be towards the higher end of the range quoted if there are multiple accounts, shares and beneficiaries.

Probate applications can generally be divided into the following areas of work:

Type of Work Cost Timescale Complexity factors incurring further costs
Obtaining a grant of probate in a simple estate £750 + VAT 3-6months This fee is only applicable if the Executors have identified the full value of the estate.
Obtaining a grant and administering an estate where there is a valid Will and no Inheritance Tax to pay £2,000 – £6,000 + VAT 3-9 months If there are shareholdings (stocks and bonds) involved further work will be required depending on how they are to be dealt with
Obtaining letters of administration where there is not a  Will (an intestacy)  and administering the estate.  No inheritance tax to pay £2,000 – £6,000 + VAT 3-9 months Further work may be required to locate missing beneficiaries by instructing a specialist firm who will charge their costs separately at the time of instruction
Obtaining a grant/ letters of administration and administering the estate where no inheritance tax to pay but a full Inheritance Tax Return required £4,500 – £6,000 + VAT Within 12 months but depending upon HMRC In some cases a full inheritance tax return will be required even though   inheritance tax is not payable
Valid Will or intestate

Inheritance tax payable

Full inheritance tax return required

£6,000 – £20,000 + VAT Minimum of 12 months dependant upon HMRC investigations A taxable estate will require a full tax return setting out the details of each asset. Additional work may be required when claiming nil rate bands from a former deceased spouse’s estate as the former spouse’s estate value would also need to be established.

If disputes between beneficiaries or executors arise, then this is likely to lead to an increase in costs and the matter may well have to be referred to another department within the firm.

Please note that when dealing with HMRC, it is difficult to give an exact timescale as to how long matters will take to complete. If Inheritance Tax is not payable, but a full Inland Revenue Return needs to be done, we have to wait for HMRC to return important documents prior to making the Application for Probate. Therefore any timescale will depend upon how long it takes for HMRC to deal with the said forms. If inheritance tax is payable HMRC have twenty weeks to raise any enquiries on any forms submitted and thereafter their investigations can continue beyond the time frame given.

We will give you a more accurate quote once we have ascertained further information regarding the estate. We would also ensure that you are kept updated with regards to timescales and issues which may cause further delay in dealing with an estate.


During the administration of an estate, we anticipate that the following disbursements may be required:-

Type Cost Variable factors
Probate application court fee £155.00 + £1.50 per additional copy  Fixed fee
Office Copy Entries £3.00 + VAT Number of office copies  obtained depending on number of properties and whether both leasehold and freehold titles registered separately
Bankruptcy searches £2.00 + VAT Number of personal representatives and beneficiaries against whom searches need to be made
Advertisement in the London Gazette to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors £77.00 + VAT
Advertisement in local newspaper Unknown + VAT The charges will vary depending on the cost of the relevant  local newspaper

Value Added Tax “VAT”

All of our fees set out are exclusive of VAT which is chargeable at a rate of 20%.  Please see above re. VAT on disbursements.

Please note we ask for a payment of £200 prior to making a probate application to cover any potential disbursements listed above.

Meet the team

Our team has over 35 years of collective experience in delivering quality work in all matters relating to Wills Estate Administration and Trusts.  The team has particular expertise in high value estates, trusts and Inheritance Tax matters, together with advising on agricultural estates.

Hourly Rates

The following table sets out the details of those who may work on or otherwise supervise your file.

Role Hourly Rate
Director £285 + VAT
Associate Director £250 + VAT
Solicitor/ Legal Executive £220 + VAT
Paralegal £135 + VAT


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