Costs relating to probate applications

Probate Applications and Estate Administration

For our full Estate Administration service we will:-

  • provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or specialist
  • identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • accurately identify the type of probate application you will require
  • ascertain the value of the estate for Probate and Inheritance Tax purposes
  • prepare the relevant HMRC account
  • calculate and arrange payment of Inheritance Tax (if any)
  • prepare and make the Grant application
  • respond to any enquiries HMRC may raise
  • take receipt of the Grant
  • encash the assets or transfer to the beneficiaries as required. Our Property team will be pleased to quote separately for the transfer or sale of estate property
  • settle any liabilities and expenses from estate funds.
  • review the Inheritance Tax position and pay any additional tax or claim a refund of tax as applicable
  • obtain formal Inheritance Tax clearance from HMRC
  • ensure that the deceased’s income tax and capital gains tax affairs are compliant to the date of death and during the administration period
  • prepare Estate Accounts and income statements for the beneficiaries
  • pay all legacies
  • distribute the remainder of the estate

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

  • value of the estate
  • whether there is a valid Will
  • number of beneficiaries
  • number and type of assets involved
  • whether there is a foreign Will
  • where the person who has died was domiciled
  • what information HMRC requires

Generally speaking, we classify an Estate as straightforward to deal with if :

  • the Will is valid, in good condition and is clear as to how the estate is to be distributed
  • all of the beneficiaries are easily identified and located
  • there are no foreign, agricultural, business or digital assets to administer
  • there is no dispute between any of the beneficiaries or executors

Our fees for estates that are not liable to Inheritance Tax will generally be lower than those which are. The number of beneficiaries and assets that we are required to deal with will also affect the level of our fees.

Disputes between beneficiaries or executors are likely to lead to an increase in fees and in that event, the matter may need to be referred to another department within the firm.

Our Estate administration service can generally be divided into the following areas of work:

Type of Work Cost Typical timescale Complexity factors incurring further costs
Obtaining a grant of probate in a straightforward estate with no inheritance tax to pay £1,000 + VAT 3-6months This fee is only applicable if the Executors have identified the full value of the estate.
Obtaining a grant of probate in a straightforward estate with inheritance tax to pay From £3,000 + VAT 3-9 months This fee is only applicable if the Executors have identified the full value of the estate.

Further work will be required if the estate is subject to an HMRC Compliance Check

Obtaining a grant and administering an estate where there is a valid Will and no Inheritance Tax to pay From £2,000  + VAT 3-9 months If there are shareholdings (stocks and bonds) or other complex assets 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 From £2,500 + VAT 3-12 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 From £4,500 + 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

From £6,000 + 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.


The following expenses may apply:-

Type Cost Variable factors
Probate application court fee £273.00 + £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 £85.00 + 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 currently chargeable at a rate of 20%.

Please note that we will ask for a payment from you in respect of all anticipated expenses where the estate is not yet in funds.

We will be able to provide you with a more accurate fee estimate once we have sufficient information about the estate.

We will advise you of the likely timescale to complete the Grant application and Estate Administration at the outset. Any timescale given will depend to a large extent on processing times at HMRC and the Probate Court which can vary considerably.

We will keep you up to date with regard to timescales and our fees and will provide a full explanation if either needs to be revised.

Meet the team

David Lane Director
Tracey Lane Chartered Legal Executive
Katie Morris Solicitor
Yolanda Ride Paralegal

David has over 20 years of experience in delivering quality work in all matters relating to Wills, Estate Administration and Trusts. He supervises the team which collectively has over 60 years of experience.  The team has particular expertise in high value estates, trusts and Inheritance Tax matters and a strong reputation in dealing with 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 £300 + VAT
Associate Director £250 + VAT
Solicitor/ Legal Executive £240 + VAT
Paralegal £200 + VAT


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