Probate & Estate Administration

Costs Transparency and Pricing Information

We offer different types of Probate and Estate Administration services, so that our clients can decide which option best suits them. The services currently available are:-

 

1. Our Probate Assist scheme

 

A ‘grant of probate only’ service, for estates that are not liable to Inheritance tax, where we will file the Inheritance tax account and obtain the grant of probate for our clients, on the basis that they then deal with the administration of the estate themselves.

2.Our fixed fee Probate service

 

A ‘grant of probate only’ service, for estates that are liable to Inheritance tax, where we will file the Inheritance tax account and obtain the grant of probate for our clients, on the basis that they then deal with the administration of the estate themselves.

3. Our full administration service

 

Where we deal with all aspects of the estate administration on behalf of our clients.
 

Probate Assist Scheme

1. What we charge for this service

A fixed fee of £960 inclusive of VAT. Disbursements are payable separately (see below for details of disbursements)

 

2. Work we will do under this service

 

This service is limited to us filing an Inheritance tax account in an estate and obtaining the grant of probate so that you can deal with the rest of the administration of the estate personally. We expect you to supply us with details of the assets and liabilities of the estate to enable us to complete the Inheritance tax account and apply for the grant of probate.

 

To take advantage of this scheme there must be a valid will or a simple intestacy (where there is no will), the estate must not be liable to inheritance tax, and the executors must not need to submit a full account to HM Revenue and Customs.

If the Will or intestacy is complex, or inheritance tax is payable in the estate, or if the executors need to submit a full account to HM Revenue and Customs, and you want us to help you, you will need to instruct us under either our Fixed Fee Probate Service or under our Full Administration Service

3. What is excluded from this service

The above quoted costs do not include any work in administering the deceased’s estate, such as paying Inheritance tax, collecting estate assets, paying estate debts, and paying estate beneficiaries. Under this service you will be expected to deal with these matters personally.
 

The above costs also do not include any work in connection with the sale/transfer of land and houses that the deceased owned. These services are called conveyancing services. Wills Jacobsen does not offer conveyancing services but can put you in touch with a firm that does, who can provide you with a quote upon request. Alternatively you can instruct your own conveyancing firm at the relevant time.

  

4. How long this type of service takes

On average, cases that fall within this category are dealt with within 3 - 6 months.

 

5. When your legal costs may be higher than advertised

In the event your fees will exceed the fixed fee of £960 inclusive of VAT you will be informed of this as early as possible. Cases typically exceed the fixed fee when they are particularly complicated, or become time consuming. The following are examples of when this might occur – the list is not exhaustive:


• the Will cannot be located
• the Will has been defaced or altered after signature of it
• all executors have died or refuse to act

• the terms of the will are not clear or it is a complicated intestacy
• the estimated value of assets is higher than first thought being over £325,000 for a single
  person or over £650,000 where the transferable nil rate band can be claimed
• property is outside England and Wales
• the issue of the Grant is likely to be contested
• the deceased died domiciled outside of England and Wales
• the deceased was entitled to assets under a trust when alive
• a power reserved notice, renunciation, or power of attorney document is required
• the Court ask for an affidavit regarding the Will
• there are a large number of beneficiaries
• there is a claim against the estate
• there are trusts in the Will
• the estate becomes liable to Inheritance tax and HMRC raise substantial queries
• there are business interests in the estate
• there are missing beneficiaries
• forensic work is needed to create a family tree under intestacy and beneficiaries must be traced
• there is a dispute of some sort between executors/administrators and/or beneficiaries
• there is no Will and there are minor beneficiaries under the Intestacy

Fixed fee Probate

1. What we charge for this service

A fixed fee of £1,920 inclusive of VAT. Disbursements are payable separately. (see below for details of disbursements)

 

2. Work we will do under this service

 

This service is limited to us filing an Inheritance tax account called IHT 400, and it supplementary pages, and obtaining the grant of probate so that you can deal with the rest of the administration of the estate personally.

 

We expect you to supply us with details of the assets and liabilities of the estate to enable us to complete the Inheritance tax account and apply for the grant of probate.

To take advantage of this scheme there must be a valid will, or a simple intestacy, (where there is no will), and the estate must not be liable to inheritance tax.

If the Will or intestacy is complex, or inheritance tax is payable in the estate, or if the executors need to submit a full account to HM Revenue and Customs, and you want us to help you, you will need to instruct us under either our Fixed Fee Probate Service or under our Full Administration Service

3. What is excluded from this service

The above quoted costs do not include any work in administering the deceased’s estate, such as paying Inheritance tax, collecting estate assets, paying estate debts, and paying estate beneficiaries. Under this service you will be expected to deal with these matters personally.
 

The above costs also do not include any work in connection with the sale/transfer of land and houses that the deceased owned. These services are called conveyancing services. Wills Jacobsen does not offer conveyancing services but can put you in touch with a firm that does, who can provide you with a quote upon request. Alternatively you can instruct your own conveyancing firm at the relevant time.

  

4. How long this type of service takes

On average, cases that fall within this category are dealt with within 4 - 6 months.

 

5. When your legal costs may be higher than advertised

In the event your fees will exceed the fixed fee of £1,920 inclusive of VAT you will be informed of this as early as possible. Cases typically exceed the fixed fee when they are particularly complicated, or become time consuming. The following are examples of when this might occur – the list is not exhaustive:


• the Will cannot be located
• the Will has been defaced or altered after signature of it
• all executors have died or refuse to act

• the terms of the will are not clear or it is a complicated intestacy
• the estimated value of assets is higher than first thought being over £325,000 for a single
  person or over £650,000 where the transferable nil rate band can be claimed
• property is outside England and Wales
• the issue of the Grant is likely to be contested
• the deceased died domiciled outside of England and Wales
• the deceased was entitled to assets under a trust when alive
• a power reserved notice, renunciation, or power of attorney document is required
• the Court ask for an affidavit regarding the Will
• there are a large number of beneficiaries
• there is a claim against the estate
• there are trusts in the Will
• the estate becomes liable to Inheritance tax and HMRC raise substantial queries
• there are business interests in the estate
• there are missing beneficiaries
• forensic work is needed to create a family tree under intestacy and beneficiaries must be traced
• there is a dispute of some sort between executors/administrators and/or beneficiaries
• there is no Will and there are minor beneficiaries under the Intestacy

 

Full administration service

 

1. What we charge for this service

For administering an estate in full we charge a percentage fee based on the value of the estate returned for Inheritance tax purposes, subject to prevailing minimum fee rates. We do not charge an hourly rate.

 

The percentage fee rate varies depending on the value of an estate For more information about applicable rates for different estate values, please click the button opposite titled "Full Administration Service Costs" or click here.

We do look at the individual circumstances of each matter, and where an estate is judged by us to be simple, we may charge a lower percentage fee than advertised.

 

For example, if an estate is worth £600,000, but there is only one beneficiary, one bank account , one property and no inheritance tax liability, we would likely charge around £ rather than our advertised fee of £.

If an estate of the same value has multiple beneficiaries, multiple bank accounts and other investments, and inheritance tax is payable, costs will be at the percentage rates advertised.

Disbursements are payable by you in addition to the legal costs. (See below for details of disbursements).

The costs information provided is therefore for general use and we do provide a more precise and personalised quote for a full administration service when we receive an enquiry to act in a probate matter.

2. Work we may do under this service

 

A full  administration service typically involves writing to estate creditors and asset holders to collect information for the application for the grant of probate, completing and filing an Inheritance tax account to detail the value of assets and liabilities, making arrangements for payment of any Inheritance tax where necessary, applying for the grant of probate, closing bank accounts and selling investments to collect funds to the estate, obtaining Inheritance tax clearance if necessary, clearing the deceased's income tax affairs to death, arranging for transfer of estate investments and/or assets depending on beneficiary wishes and terms of the Will, distributing collected assets to those entitled, preparing estate accounts for the executors, and preparing tax deduction certificates for beneficiaries.

 

3. What is excluded from this service

 

The above quoted costs do not include any work in administering the deceased’s estate, such as paying Inheritance tax, collecting estate assets, paying estate debts, and paying estate beneficiaries. Under this service you will be expected to deal with these matters personally.
 

The above costs also do not include any work in connection with the sale/transfer of land and houses that the deceased owned. These services are called conveyancing services. Wills Jacobsen does not offer conveyancing services but can put you in touch with a firm that does, who can provide you with a quote upon request. Alternatively you can instruct your own conveyancing firm at the relevant time.

4. How long this type of service takes

On average, for simple cases we will try and conclude the estate administration within 6 - 12 months of being instructed. We allow 3-4 months for obtaining the grant of probate from the point we are instructed. Collecting assets then follows, which can take a further 3–4 months. Once this has been done, distribution of the assets normally takes a further 3-4 months.

 

The above time estimates are for guidance only and vary depending upon the work involved.

 

Large and/or more complex estates will take longer to conclude as there will likely be Inheritance tax issues which will require us to liaise with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). HMRC can take up to 6 months to finalise their own position with respect to an estate, and therefore this increases the time it will take for us to conclude the estate administration.

 

Where there are 1 or more properties in an estate that need to be sold, this can also delay matters, if a buyer is not found quickly.

5. When your legal costs may be higher than advertised

In the event your fees for our full estate administration service will exceed the percentage rate charges in force at the time of your case, you will be informed of this as early as possible. Cases typically exceed the percentage rate charged when they are particularly complicated, or become time consuming for example. The following are examples of when this might occur – the list is not exhaustive:

• the Will cannot be located
• the Will has been defaced or altered after signature of it
• all executors have died or refuse to act

• the terms of the will are not clear or it is a complicated intestacy
• the estimated value of assets is higher than first thought
• property is outside England and Wales
• the issue of the Grant is likely to be contested
• the deceased died domiciled outside of England and Wales
• the deceased was entitled to assets under a trust when alive
• a power reserved notice, renunciation, or power of attorney document is required
• the Court ask for an affidavit regarding the Will
• there are a large number of beneficiaries
• there is a claim against the estate
• there are trusts in the Will
• the estate becomes liable to Inheritance tax and HMRC raise substantial queries
• there are business interests in the estate
• there are missing beneficiaries
• forensic work is needed to create a family tree under intestacy and beneficiaries must be traced
• there is a dispute of some sort between executors/administrators and/or beneficiaries
• there is no Will and there are minor beneficiaries under the Intestacy

Other costs payable (applies to all services listed above)

Apart from the legal costs charged for all services outlined above, there are other fees which apply, which are called "Disbursements".

Disbursements are costs related to an estate administration that are payable to third parties, such as Probate Registry fees. We ask you to pay disbursements personally as and when they are due. The type of disbursements which are generally payable for all of the services listed above are:-

  • Probate application court fee of £155 and 50 pence for each additional copy requested*

  • Bankruptcy searches (£2 per beneficiary)

  • Land Registry search if there is a property (per property) - £3 per search without a title plan, £6 with a title plan

  • £200 Statutory Notice fee for notices placed in The London Gazette and a local newspaper. The notices can protect executors from liability for unexpected claims from unknown creditors and are

*The Probate application fee is set to rise substantially. The date of the rise is not yet known.

 

Examples of our charges applied to recent cases

Ms XXX instructed us under our full administration service, to deal with her Mother's estate. The estate was valued at £450,000. Mrs XXX was the only beneficiary.

 

We charged £2,400 inclusive of VAT. Disbursements were payable separately.

This was a simple matter, handled by an experienced lawyer. The administration was concluded in 14 weeks.

 

We viewed the matter as simple and charged below our prevailing percentage thresholds because:

 

  • Ms XXX lived with her mother and owned the house jointly with her deceased. Hence, no conveyancing was needed

  • ​The only assets we had to collect and distribute were two banks accounts valued between them at £150,000

  • The only liability we dealt with was payment of the funeral expenses. Ms XXX transferred all property expenses to herself and there were no other estate debts

  • No inheritance tax was payable and a short form Inheritance account IHT 205 could be filed by us

  • The Will was simple, not defaced, and there were no challenges to it

 

The Disbursements payable by Ms XXX in the estate were £168, made up as follows:-

  1. Grant application fee of £156 including charge for 2 additional copies of the grant

  2. Swearing the Oath and Will £7

  3. Bankruptcy search £2

  4. Land Registry copy title fee £3

Mr YYY instructed us under our full administration service, to deal with his Mother's estate. The estate was valued at £380,000. There were 7 legacies to be paid under the Will and then Mr YYY and his two siblings inherited the rest of the estate equally.

We charged £4,200 inclusive of VAT. Disbursements were payable separately.

This estate was liable to Inheritance tax so more work was required than in the Mrs XXX case. It was still a fairly straightforward matter, but the administration took longer than above to complete as we had to wait for Inheritance tax clearance from HMRC. We concluded matters in just over 9 months.

We carried out more work in this matter because:-

  • The deceased's house had to be sold. Mr YYY paid separate charges to a conveyancer to deal with the sale but we arranged to place the house on the market for him

  • We arranged clearance of he property contents after liaising with the estate beneficiaries

  • We had to complete and file long form Inheritance tax account IHT 400 and arrange for payment of Inheritance tax

  • We had to answer some queries raised by HMRC about the IHT 400 form

  • We had to deal with more assets and more distributions than in the case of Mrs XXX

The Disbursements payable by Mr YYY in the estate were £364, made up as follows:-

  1. Grant application fee of £158 including charge for 6 additional copies of the grant

  2. Swearing the Oath and Will £7

  3. Bankruptcy search £6

  4. Land Registry copy title fee £3

  5. Statutory Notices £190

Probate Assist Scheme charges

Probate Fixed Fee Charges

Full Administration Service Charges

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Wills Jacobsen are authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation for Probate: Authorisation Number 2164535. Read the CILEx Code of Conduct

Wills Jacobsen is the trading name for Wills Jacobsen Legal Ltd

 

Company number: 09511808

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Registered office:

 

1 Broughton Business Centre, Causeway Road,

Broughton,

Huntingdon,

PE28 3AR