We want to ensure that our charges are fair and transparent. We offer clients a choice of either fixed fees or being charged for time spent on their matter on an hourly rate.
We offer clients the option of paying a fixed fee or to pay for work on a time spent basis.
Every client’s matter is different, and our fee will depend on your individual circumstances and whilst the value of the estate is considered other factors will affect the amount of work involved.
The nature of the assets in the estate, the number of properties and whether they need to be sold, the complexity of investments, whether there is a foreign element, whether inheritance tax or other taxes are payable and the complexity of the instructions in the will. Our fee will also differ depending on how much of the work you want us to do.
In order to assess these different factors we will need to have an initial meeting with you to discuss the nature of the estate and what work you would like us to do. We charge £200 for an initial consultation following which we will give you the option of a fixed fee and an estimate for how much time we will spend on your matter.
Our fixed fee will be calculated taking into account how much time we are likely to spend plus a contingency to cover unexpected developments. If you want to pay for the time we actually spend on your matter, we will provide you a range of fees (a minimum and maximum) that we estimate your matter will take. Our hourly rate is £201 per hour.
We usually offer our clients a choice of time recording or fixed price, but sometimes an estate is too complex, or there are too many unknown factors for us to offer a fixed price. Even if we are charging on a time recorded basis, we estimate the time we anticipate we will take to complete the work and will inform the client if this is likely to be exceeded.
Other costs - Disbursements
In addition to our fees there may be third party costs that are incurred, these are called disbursements. The disbursements are typically:
- the probate registry fee: £155 plus 50p for each extra copy of the grant of probate required – subject to change by HMCTS at anytime
- bankruptcy searches: £2 each
- fees for getting office copy entries from the land registry: £3 each
- Fees for valuation of assets and selling shares: various
- Foreign currency transfers. If our clients agree we can use a currency exchange service, which gives better exchange rates than the banks. We charge £50 plus VAT to use the service; the banks will deduct their own charges, normally around £15 per transfer.
Case Studies of fees charged
Obtaining a grant of probate.
If you provide us with a valuation of assets we can complete the application to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Probate. We would charge on a time record basis. Typical time is 2 1/2 hours for an estate which is not taxable (£500 plus VAT) or 4-5 hours for a taxable estate (£800-£1,000 plus VAT)
Full service – simple estate no inheritance tax
Mother died leaving everything to father, except some small items which will be given to the beneficiaries by the executors. No inheritance tax was due. The estate value was £360,000 with a range of assets, premium bonds and property to be transferred into a trust. Fixed price £1,800 plus VAT and disbursements.
Full service – simple estate inheritance tax to pay
Mother died in 2016 leaving everything to father; father then died. The estate value is £1.2m and there is inheritance tax to pay, reduced by the transferable nil rate band and the residence nil rate band. There was a property and a variety of assets. There were 2 executors and 3 residuary beneficiaries receiving slightly different shares. We charged £7,500 plus VAT and disbursements.
Full service – complex estate
Estate value £3.7m. Complex estate with valuable furniture, 5 bequests of cash (some to foreign beneficiaries) and artworks, 2 properties, one took several months to sell, and a range of investments in various shares. Charitable bequests altered the inheritance tax payable. Our work included negotiations with HMRC, advising the executors and beneficiaries about options available to minimise Inheritance Tax payable and how to vary the Will to make it more tax effective, then reclaiming overpaid tax from HMRC. The total charge was £12,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
Foreign Probates: fees charged
These are normally cases where the deceased did not live in the UK but had assets in the UK when he/she died.
Deceased domiciled abroad with a UK asset
Deceased died domiciled abroad with a foreign Will and one asset in the UK worth about £50,000. Executor provided valuations and dealt with the closure of the bank account. We were instructed to obtain a UK Grant and obtain relevant information from the foreign lawyer. Fee £1,000.
Deceased domiciled abroad with tax payable on the UK estate.
An estimate for our fee to complete the application for the UK estate and obtain Grant is £2,000.