Why Choose Grant Saw Solicitors?
We are the largest private client department in the local area and have five dedicated specialists in the team. As a department, we pride ourselves on providing excellent client service, with a friendly and approachable manner, and we are frequently instructed by new clients based on recommendations received from our existing clients.
Your matter will be handled by a qualified solicitor or legal executive from the beginning to end, and a direct telephone number and direct email are always given to our clients from the outset. We do not use unqualified staff to deal with the probate process, or to write Wills. We have a wealth of experience in probate matters, inheritance tax matters and Will writing, and can deal with any issues should they arise.
Unlike some legal firms we do not charge for postage and photocopying. We will only charge you the same costs that we are charged (known as disbursements).
We also hold the Law Society accreditation for excellence in Wills and Probate, known as WIQS (Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme), as well as having members of Solicitors for the Elderly and STEP in the team. These are all demonstrative of the expertise and dedication our lawyers have in making sure our clients receive the best advice possible. In 2021, we were named Solicitor Firm of the Year (South) at the British Wills and Probate Awards.
The firm is Lexcel accredited which is the Law Society’s practice management standard awarded only to solicitors who meet the highest management and client care standards. We are also members of LawNet, a collaboration between some of the country’s leading law firms, which helps to exchange ideas and ensure best practice from which our clients benefit.
We will always give you an individual and tailored costs estimate at the start of your transaction, taking into account the specific features of your matter, and will advise you of any potential complications and discuss the impact on price before additional charges are incurred. The hourly rates start from £250 plus VAT, and although the costs estimate given is not a fixed fee, we would not depart from it unless there is good reason to do so.
Please do feel free to call one of our private client lawyers for your own bespoke quote, but in accordance with the SRA Transparency Rules, we have set out below an average of the probate costs we charge.
The fees listed are for probate matters, where all of the assets are in the UK and the estate does not have any complex issues.
There are three things you need to attend to in the first few days after someone dies.
a) Get a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor, as you will need this to register the death.
b) Register the death within five days.
c) Arrange the funeral.
Once the above three points have been attended to, the personal representatives can begin the probate process. This can be divided into three steps
1) Gathering information about the estate – which means contacting all institutions where assets/liabilities exist.
2) Completing the inheritance tax return forms and applying for the Grant.
3) Collecting the assets in, paying liabilities and inheritance tax, and distributing the estate in accordance with the Will/the intestacy rules.
We offer two fee options for our clients when dealing with probate
Grant only service – this is generally on a fixed fee basis, based on an hourly rate, which starts at £250.00 per hour plus VAT. This means that we will tell you the information needed to apply for the Grant, which is the document needed to administer the estate. Generally, we require probate values of all assets and liabilities in the estate. Once we have received the requisite information, we can complete the inheritance tax return forms and return the Grant to the Personal Representative so that they can administer the estate. Consequently, the Grant only service simply covers step two. Our charges for our Grant only service are usually between £2,750 and £7,750 plus VAT and the level of costs depends on whether or not there is inheritance tax to pay.
Full administration – Our charges are based on the Law Society formula, which provides that a solicitor may charge a value element of an estate plus an hourly rate. Our charges are based on 1% of property value and 2% of liquid assets in the estate, plus an hourly rate starting from £250 plus VAT per hour. If we have been appointed as executors, the value element applied is 2% of property value and 4% of liquid assets in the estate, with an hourly rate starting at £250 plus VAT per hour. A full administration covers everything we need to administer the estate. For example, we will write to the banks for the probate value of all bank accounts and obtain valuations of any property. The inheritance tax return forms would be completed and the Grant be applied for, as noted above. Once received, we collect in all the monies, deal with any liabilities, make payment of any inheritance tax and prepare estate accounts and distribute the estate to beneficiaries in the Will, or if there is no Will, in accordance with the intestacy rules. Therefore, the full administration covers all three steps listed above.
Our fees for this type of work usually start from £9,500.00 plus VAT.
For example, an estate worth £1,000,000.00 comprised of a property worth £750,000.00 and with the remaining assets held in bank accounts and investments is likely to cost in the region of £25,000.00 plus VAT to administer.
This sample quote is for estates where:-
- There is a valid Will or known beneficiaries under the intestacy rules
- There is no more than one property
- There are no more than 10 bank or building society accounts with no more than five different banks
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are no more than 10 known and easily traceable beneficiaries in total
- There are no disputes between the beneficiaries over the division of assets (if disputes arise, this is likely to lead to an increase in costs)
- We are not acting as the Executors
- There are no claims made against the estate
Disbursements not included in this fee:-
- Probate application fee of £273.00
- Copies of probate – £1.50 per copy
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
- Post in the London Gazette (£88.00 plus VAT) – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
- Certainty Will search (£199 plus VAT) to ensure no Will exists/no later Will exists
- Estate Search (£185 plus VAT) to ascertain the assets and liabilities in the estate if required
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smooth process.
VAT will be charged at the current prevailing rate which at present is 20%.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. However, if there are multiple beneficiaries, and multiple bank accounts, the costs will be at the higher end. Therefore, the costs are not solely based on the value of the estate, but rather on how complicated it is to administer.
Please note that where we are instructed on a full administration basis, our costs are generally paid from the assets in the estate before distribution, and therefore generally no monies are required on account.
How Long Will This Take?
On average, estates where there is no inheritance tax to pay and a short form inheritance tax return can be completed, can usually be administered within three months. Where the full inheritance tax return needs to be completed and there is tax to pay, it is likely that these estates will take between six to twelve months to administer. Please note that these timescales are subject to any property or other assets which may take time to sell.
Please click here to download our leaflet on the duties of a personal representatives, which provides useful information.
We hope that this makes our charging structure clear and we do always provide a bespoke costs estimate for each matter. Please do contact us for further information.