Confused about the cost of probate? Part of our estate administration series, this guide to probate fees (both official and from solicitors) will break all the expenses down for you. Questions? Call us on 0800 054 9896 for free advice.


When someone dies, finances are the last thing you want to think about. Which is why probate fees – the cost of the grant of probate, and solicitors’ fees for probate services – can feel overwhelming. Here we’ve put together a simple breakdown of both.

 

How much is a grant of probate?

A grant of probate is an official document that gives you the legal right to settle the estate of someone who has died. If there’s no will, you’ll need to apply for a letter of administration instead – but this doesn’t change the cost.

What does change the cost of probate paperwork is the ‘net estate’: the total value of everything owned solely by the person who’s died, once debts and funeral costs have been deducted:

  • If the net estate is worth more than £5,000, you’ll be charged £215 in probate fees.
  • If the net estate is worth less than £5,000, there is no charge.
  • If you need a second grant after you’ve already applied for one on the same estate, you’ll be charged £20.

How much does it cost to get probate document copies?

You’re likely to need a few copies of the grant of probate or letter of administration. These cost less if you ask for them early, so it’s worth planning ahead:

  • Copies requested at the time you apply for the grant or letter will cost 50p.
  • Copies ordered after the grant or letter has been issued will cost £10 for the first copy and 50p for additional copies.
  • Sealed and certified copies – which you might need to access any assets held outside the UK – also cost 50p per copy.

All grant copies issued will also include a copy of the will, if there is one.

 

How much are solicitors’ fees for probate?

Settling an estate can be a long, complicated and stressful process. While it’s possible to do it yourself, many people ask a solicitor or a professional probate service to work on their behalf. They’re particularly useful when:

  • The estate is worth more than the minimum inheritance tax threshold.
  • There is no will, or the will is invalid or contested.
  • The estate is or may be bankrupt.
  • The estate will be complicated or difficult to settle, such as when trusts need to be created or assets or property are owned outside the UK.

Probate services’ and solicitors’ costs for probate will vary depending on the estate and the way they charge:

  • A percentage of the estate. This is usually 1-5% of the estate. Based on this, you can expect to pay between £1,000 and £5,000 in solicitors’ fees per £100,000 value of the estate, plus VAT. This becomes an issue when the estate is large but relatively simple – you can pay thousands more for the same level of effort.
  • An hourly rate. This is usually around £100-250 an hour. The bonus here is that you only pay for work they actually do – but unexpected complications can make the probate fees much higher than initially expected.
  • A fixed fee. Some professional probate services will charge a fixed fee, usually calculated based on the size and complexity of the estate. This can start at as little as £650 for an estate worth less than £100,000, but varies depending on the situation.

Comparing probate fees? Remember:

  • Check what’s included in each quote. While some probate services will take care of every step of the probate process (even rehoming pets), others just help you to apply for a grant of probate.
  • If a solicitor or bank was involved in creating the will, they may try to insist on administering the estate, but you don’t have to use their services. If they are forceful about it, you can formally request they step down or petition a court to have them removed.
  • Third party services – like conveyancing, if a property needs to be sold – might add to the cost to probate a will. Make sure your chosen probate provider gives you a detailed breakdown of these third party services as part of their quote.

 

How much is probate at Beyond?

We offer a range of fixed-fee probate services, with no exceptions in the small print:

  • Simple probate: Just need the grant of probate or administration, and then you’re happy to DIY? We can take care of all the grant and inheritance tax paperwork that’s needed for a low fixed-fee of £650.
  • Essential estate administration: If you’d like a trained professional to take on the estate administration process from beginning to end, we can do this for £1,695 (no inheritance tax to pay) or £2,695 (some inheritance tax due).
  • Full estate administration: If you’d like a comprehensive estate administration service that takes everything off your hands (calling utility companies, selling the house, rehoming pets – everything) you can call us and get a guaranteed quote in 10 minutes.

No matter which of our probate services you choose, what you see in our initial quote is what we’ll charge, no matter what happens or how large the estate turns out to be. To get a quote today, click here or call us on 0800 054 9896.

Next in our probate series >> What Happens After Probate is Granted?

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