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probate services
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Probate Solicitors

When someone dies, his or her estate must be administered to deal with the deceased person’s remaining affairs and assets.

This can be done by applying for:

Both routes are carried out in the same way. The probate registry issues a grant of probate, which is an official document. Probate gives you the legal right to deal with the person’s property, money, and possessions, which are known as their estate. Probate can be a time-consuming process during a difficult period after a loved one’s death.

Our specialist solicitors can help you through this process and act on your behalf to relieve your burden.

What Is The Probate Process?

Probate doesn’t apply in certain circumstances. For example, if the person who died jointly owned land, property, shares, or money, then these would automatically pass on to the surviving owners.

If the Estate is worth less than £5,000, probate may not be needed. However, some organisations may require a grant to release funds, even if there’s only a small amount of money.

The executor of a will can apply for probate, or they can use someone else, such as a solicitor, to do this on their behalf.

The process to apply for probate is as follows:

  • Check if there is a Will. And if there is one, continue as follows:.
  • Apply for a grant of representation to give you the legal right to access relevant information, such as the deceased’s bank accounts. (This isn’t always required and is dependent on the circumstances of the Estate.)
  • Value the Estate and complete a tax return, then pass this information to HMRC. Pay any inheritance tax that is due, which will depend on the size of the Estate. Some of the inheritance tax is normally due before probate is given, but the executor can claim it back from the estate or beneficiaries if they pay for it themselves.
  • Apply for a grant of probate. You can do this online or by post.
  • Collect the assets from the estate. For example, if you sell any of the deceased’s property, this must be put into the Estate’s funds. It is possible to apply for financial assets to be transferred into an agreed-upon ‘executor account’.
  • Pay off any outstanding debts (rent, utility bills, etc.). Solicitor fees that have arisen due to probate can be paid from the Estate’s assets.
  • The Estate accounts need updating relating to how property, money or possessions will be divided between any beneficiaries.
  • At this point, you can distribute the assets to the beneficiaries as stated in the Will.

If there is no will, the next of kin can apply to be an administrator of the estate (this is the same as applying for probate), and you’ll receive letters of administration to prove you have the right to deal with the estate.

A person can stop a probate application where there is a dispute over who can apply or whether a Will exists. This is known as ‘entering a caveat’. ​​The caveat lasts for six months at first, and you can then extend it for another six months.


All probate work is undertaken at the hourly charging rate for the relevant legal professional. Pricing will be discussed at the initial meeting, and a cost estimate will be provided.

We also charge 1.5% of net residuary estate (in accordance with the Law Society’s guidance).

Our fees will vary depending on the terms of the will, the nature of the intestacy, and the complexity and value of the estate. As a guide, the fees for full administration will typically range from £2,500 to £5,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

Probate Disbursements: all subject to VAT where applicable.

  • Reissuing dividend cheques (to replace a share of a missing dividend cheque): from £15 per cheque, depending on the amount of the uncashed dividend.
  • Lost Share Certificates (to replace missing share certificates): from £50 per share certificate that needs reissuing, depending on the value of the missing certificate.
  • Stockbroker Fees (for the sale of shares): from £20 per shareholding, depending on the value of shares.
  • Financial Asset Search (an enhanced search to see if the Estate has any financial assets that haven’t been identified): from £165 to £195
  • Copies of official documents (copies of birth, death, adoption, etc. if originals cannot be located): £30 application fee per person plus £11–£33 per certificate.
  • Searches of missing beneficiaries (searching for any missing beneficiaries): individual quotation depending on the complexity and knowledge of the Estate.
  • Contentious Matters: costs and expenses in relation to disputes and or litigation; individual costs quotation will be provided based upon requirements.
  • Handling exceptional assets (for handling affairs relating to foreign assets (outside England and Wales), heritage assets, and agricultural assets): An individual quotation is based on the requirements.

We will provide you with a fixed-fee probate quote which is based on the individual circumstances of your loved one’s estate.

Our price ranges from £1,630 to £50,366 excluding VAT (charged at 20%) and disbursements.

There are a number of factors that can affect the complexity of an estate and the quotation you will be given, including the value and nature of the assets, whether or not there is a will, and the number of beneficiaries.

Example Probate Pricing

Every estate is different, but to give you a deeper understanding of our probate pricing, here are some examples of our fixed-fee probate quotations for estates of varying size and complexity.

These probate cost examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not a guarantee of the fixed-fee probate quotation that you will receive, which will be tailored to your specific situation.

On all estates, we charge between 1.5 and 3% (if acting as an executor) of the gross estate in addition to our usual charging rates.

A quotation can be provided once we have an accurate overview of the estate.

Experience and qualifications: All work will be undertaken and/or supervised by a fully qualified solicitor experienced in providing probate services.

Example Estate: Simple Estate

  • 1 property
  • 2 bank accounts
  • Valid will
  • No liabilities
  • 4 beneficiaries
  • Estate value: £145,000

Our quotation for this estate would be approximately £2,694 (+VAT at 20% and disbursements)

Example Estate: Standard Estate

  • 1 property
  • 6 bank accounts
  • Valid will
  • 4 beneficiaries / personal representatives
  • Estate value: £240,000

Our quotation for this estate would be approximately £4,000 (+VAT at 20% and disbursements)

Example Estate: Complex Estate

  • 1 property
  • 8 bank / financial institution accounts
  • no will (intestate)
  • 4 beneficiaries
  • Estate value: £730,000

Our estimate for this estate would be approximately £10,237 (+VAT at 20% and disbursements)

Example Estate: High-Value Estate

  • 2 properties or property and land
  • 12 bank or financial institutions accounts
  • valid will
  • 4 beneficiaries
  • Estate value: £2.5 million

Our estimate for this estate would be approximately £50,000 (+VAT at 20% and disbursements)

Timescales & Key Stages

The basic process for administering an estate is as follows:

  1. Appointment to obtain initial instructions and overview of Estate
  2. Contact relevant organisations and obtain full details of the Estates assets and liabilities
  3. Contact beneficiaries to inform of entitlement
  4. Submit Inheritance Tax forms to HMRC (if applicable)
  5. Submit application to Probate
  6. Pay inheritance tax (if applicable)
  7. Receive Grant of probate
  8. Pay off any debts upon receipt of any assets
  9. Finalise and distribute the Estate

On average, it will take between 9 and 18 months to obtain probate and settle an estate. However, there are various factors which may cause this time frame to increase, such as if there is property to sell, Inheritance Tax to pay, or complications regarding personal representatives or beneficiaries to the Estate.

Exact time frames for probate are entirely dependent on the size and complexity of the case, and a more accurate estimate will be provided to you upon receipt of instructions.

From the start to finish we were made to feel welcome every time and we had an appointment with Danielle Shawcross and her team. Whatever points we didn't understand the team did their utmost efforts to help us.
Barry Hadfield

Working with you towards a positive conclusion.

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