Wrigleys' probate fees
'Probate' is the term commonly used to describe the processes involved in the administration of a deceased individual's estate, either in accordance with the terms of his or her Will or in accordance with the application of the Intestacy Rules, where there is no valid Will.
Wrigleys has a wealth of expertise in the administration of a broad range of estates.
We do not typically work on a fixed-fee basis. Whilst we offer a fixed-fee in some circumstances, generally our charges are time-based with reference to the hourly rates our partners and fee-earners work against at a given time. As of May 2023, the hourly rates for members of the Probate teams at our Leeds and Sheffield offices ranged from £150 plus VAT (£180 incl. VAT) (paralegal) to £335 plus VAT (£402 incl. VAT) (senior partner). Our hourly rates are reviewed annually.
We do not charge a percentage of the value of the estate instead of (or in addition to) our hourly rates, as some firms do. We charge only for the work done by reference to our hourly rates, which we believe is the fairest way of charging.
Irrespective of the size or complexity of the estate, we usually offer clients the choice of two services:
- We obtain the Grant of Probate only. The clients are then responsible for the further administration of the estate. This may include submitting a tax return for the administration period (Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax), paying legacies due under the Will, transferring the ownership of real and non-real assets to the beneficiaries, selling assets, obtaining formal Inheritance Tax clearance from HMRC, preparing Estate Accounts and making final distribution of the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or the requirements of the Intestacy Rules; or
- We obtain the Grant of Probate and administer the estate, dealing with all the relevant processes from start to finish (save as to any property transactions or the provision of property law advice, for which our Property department would be pleased to quote for and deal with under a separate retainer).
No two estates are exactly the same or involve precisely the same amount of time and expertise to administer. It is therefore impossible to provide a meaningful formal estimate for our charges until the partner and/or fee-earner dealing with a given estate has been able to assess the work that is likely to be necessary, having reviewed the deceased individual's Will or the application of the Intestacy Rules, his or her assets and liabilities and any potentially complicating factors.
For the purposes of illustration only, the administration of a straightforward estate (meaning one which does not require an inheritance tax return, is not chargeable to Inheritance Tax and involves only an interest in a freehold UK residential property and UK bank and building society balances, for example) might, on average, generate the following estimates:
- To obtain the Grant of Probate only – from £2,000 plus VAT (£2,400 incl. VAT).
- To obtain the Grant of Probate and to administer the estate – from £5,000 plus VAT (£6,000 incl. VAT)
Irrespective of the value of an estate, there are a number of potentially complicating factors which can add to the time (and hence costs) required to properly deal with the application for the Grant of Probate and/or the administration of the estate. The following is a non-exhaustive list of these potentially complicating factors:
- The presence of Trusts;
- The deceased having had a non-UK domicile or his or her domicile not being apparent without investigation;
- The deceased having owned non-UK assets;
- The deceased having owned business assets (as a sole trader, partner or shareholder) and claiming Business Property Relief, where available;
- The deceased having owned a significant interest in land (whether in the UK or overseas) and claiming Agricultural Property Relief, where available;
- The deceased having made failed Potentially Exempt Transfers (gifts made in the seven years prior to his or her death); and
- The deceased having owned heritage assets.
In addition to our fees, there will be disbursements payable to third parties. These disbursements may include some or all of the following:
- Probate Registry application fee – £273 (plus £1.50 per additional sealed copy of the Grant);
- Bank transfer fees – Case-dependent;
- Statutory advertisements – Case-dependent (London Gazette fee from £62.15 plus VAT (£74.58 inclusive of VAT)); and
- Valuation fees – Case-dependent (valuation by a RICS-chartered surveyor in one part of the UK can vary considerably from what another RICS-chartered surveyor in another part of the country would seek to charge, for example).
The figures cited above are purely illustrative and the likely cost of our fees and of the necessary disbursements can be estimated once the partner or fee-earner dealing with the enquiry has had opportunity to review the Will or application of the Intestacy Rules, the assets and liabilities and to ascertain whether there are any potentially complicating factors. Estimates are not fixed quotes and are subject to review throughout the course of a matter.
All fees have VAT and disbursements, if any, charged in addition, at cost. VAT is charged at the then current rate.
Should you have any queries about our services or costs, please do not hesitate to contact:
Kieran McIvor |Partner
Wrigleys Solicitors LLP
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