Our Team

Our probate team are here to handle your matter and have over 20 years of legal experience in a team run by Sarah Smyth, an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives supervised by Partner, Tim Allen.

Prices and key stages for Probate

In this situation we would generally be handling the estate of a family member, and confirm the stages of that process are as follows:-

  1. Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
  2. Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require.
  3. Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application.
  4. Complete the Probate application and the relevant HMRC forms.
  5. Draft a legal oath for you to have independently sworn.
  6. Make the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf.
  7. Obtain the Probate and securely copies to you.
  8. Collect and distribute all assets in the estate once the death has been advertised, and advise on Inheritance Tax accordingly.
  9. Produce a formal statement of the monies coming in and going out.

Sometimes people only need us to obtain the Court Order, rather than deal with the estate itself, and in this case our fixed fee would be £500 plus VAT and any additional disbursements which would typically include the Probate application fee of £155.00, and a fee of £5.00 or so to have the oath independently sworn. With these types of instruction we would not advise on tax matters or the handling of the estate. This quote is on the basis of no tax being due for payment.

Other than that, we work on an hourly basis as we cannot know exactly what is involved in your case until we are going through the process itself. Each case would need to be assessed on its own merits. We would calculate the tax due, and provide advice accordingly. There may also be additional fees for the independent valuation of assets, such as by a stockbroker or auction house. A home valuation is likely to cost approximately £350.00 plus VAT. Clearly we can only estimate such costs on a case by case basis once the assets have been identified.

We charge for the legal work we do on a time recorded basis based on hourly rates. Our charging rate is based upon the seniority and experience of the file handler working on your case as follows:

  • £217.00 per hour plus VAT – Solicitors or CILEX with at least 8 years post-qualification experience (PQE);
  • £192.00 per hour plus VAT – Solicitors, CILEX or Costs Lawyers with at least 4 years PQE;
  • £161.00 per hour plus VAT – Solicitors, CILEX or Costs Lawyers with up to 4 years PQE and other staff of equivalent experience;
  • £118.00 per hour plus VAT – Paralegals, trainees or equivalent

On occasion we may be able to agree a fixed fee for larger estates, however again this would be on a case-specific basis. Please contact us to discuss your case further.

All disbursements attract VAT at 20% in addition, with the exception of Court fees.

Duration

On a basic case where only the Grant of Probate certificate is required and no inheritance tax is payable, we would expect an application to the Probate Registry to take place 4-6 weeks after our initial instruction.

The Grant should then take a further 2-3 weeks to arrive from the Registry, although this is out of our control.

If there are simple assets for which you require valuation and sale, such as a house and vehicle, then this may take a further 4 months approximately.

Please bear in mind that a statutory limitation period of 6 months is usually observed to allow any claims against the estate to be made, otherwise a trustee could be liable where assets have been distributed prematurely and a claim is subsequently received by a potential beneficiary.

The assets and then collected, the debts of the estate are discharged, and any legacies are paid.

This total process where we are dealing with the estate should take approximately 12 months.