Grant of Probate Fees & Costs? How to Save on Probate Quotes

What is a Grant of Probate? Do I need one? Compare Probate Quotes.

Save on Grant of Probate Fees
Lower Probate Costs!

It is the certificate from the Probate Registry which enables the Executors to gather in the assets, pay the bills, and distribute the inheritances. A grant of Letters of Administration is the same thing, but where there was not a valid Last Will to act so the estate was dealt with under the Rules of Intestacy. Sometimes there is no executor, and then it is Letters of Administration with Will annexed. But getting to that stage requires a lot of research and form filling, which is why professionals are usually employed. Why not Contact Us for help or compare probate fees? Are you aware of all the options to cut probate costs? Our Free Guide to Probate is here.      What to do after a death? is for the early days.  Do I need probate?

Our probate costs enquiry form is at the foot of the page. Or just give us a call to organise a probate quote!

Typical solicitors’ fees for probate of an estate range from just under 2% of the gross value of the estate to more than 4% – plus all third-party costs. Some may charge a little less, some much more if it is a small estate. We can usually find someone to keep costs well below these levels.

Don’t compare probate quotes with understanding how they are calculated.

I should explain how the gross value of an estate is calculated, as it is probably not what you think.  Let’s take a very simple estate with nothing other than a house worth £500,000 and a £400,000 mortgage.  The net value is clearly £100,000 – but the gross value is £900,000 so a low fee of 2% including VAT could be £18,000 – NOT £2,000 for what is a very simple estate. In effect, you could spend more than 18% of the net estate (plus estate agents fees, etc) to get a grant of probate.  We should be able to cut that dramatically, so why not get in touch and see how we can help.

Call us on 03 300 102 300 to save on solicitors’ probate fees.

We find the variation in cost probate lawyers charge for obtaining a grant (or Letters of Administration if there is no valid Will) is incredible. A firm that claims to be the largest in the lands probate quote was £8,000. We found a firm that cut the cost down to just £475. The clients – who did a little extra work to help saved £7,525 or 94%. We can promise to always do our best to find you good help at a sensible cost, but some cases really do need highly sophisticated advice where the hourly rate will inevitably be higher and the fees of a top-flight probate solicitor might be justified. But still modest for the level of expertise required. Of course, the Court fees were added on top of £475, and it is possible the probate court fee was included in the other probate fee. Read on for Court costs and more, or use the form at the foot of the page to compare probate quotes – or give us a call on 03 300 102 300. We won’t recommend a highly sophisticated service (higher probate fees!) unless you really need it. Either way, we help you to compare probate costs, so you get the service your need at a cost that makes sense.

Incidentally, the Probate Court Fee in 2022 is £273 for estates requiring a Grant and valued at more than £5000. So £6,000 and £60m estates pay the same Court fee, hardly fair court costs in my opinion. Of course, that excludes all the other probate costs unless you do everything yourself.

Just letting the local solicitor who may hold the Will do the work may cost you dear: so why not let us get a comparative probate quote for you? No cost, no obligation.  Form at bottom of the page or call 03 300 102 300. Small solicitors firms may not have the expertise, larger firms usually will, but they are usually sadled with large overheads which the customer pays for in increased probate fees.

You might even find out that a grant of probate isn’t even needed! That is an even bigger saving on probate fees! You would be surprised how often people worry and then it turns out there isn’t a requirement to get a Grant anyway.

Dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died can be stressful, and the cost of delegating to some professionals is a lot less than others. So contact us to get a probate quote. Fixed fee probate quotes are available in many cases, provided you have enough information. Always remember that fixed fee quotes are based on the information you supply and might change if other things turn up.

Is professional probate help needed?

  • Where Inheritance Tax is likely to be payable – there are penalties for not paying with 6 months of the 1st day of the month following the death. That can be hard to achieve unless everything is well documented.
  • Quarrelsome families often fall out forever – let them blame the third party!
  • Beneficiaries left out, or folk who may have been supported by the deceased, or to whom an obligation was owed.
  • Bankrupt beneficiaries can lead to bankrupt executors!
  • Disputes ideally need defusing by a neutral party as Court action can easily cost the price of a house or more.
  • Estates where tax planning has taken place including gifts and specialist investments. Careful research is needed.
  • Overseas assets – all sorts of complications here. There may well be overseas lawyers’ probate fees as well.
  • Where the deceased may not be “domiciled” in the UK different tax rules may apply. A strong clue is that the father of the deceased was born abroad and not of English parentage.
  • The family doesn’t have the administrative skills necessary. With many estates costing less than £500 (+ Court Fees) to sort out, why have all the worry? Our recommended probate lawyers can cover as much or as little of the work as you wish, even if it is just a quick check. Our associates are there to help.

Maybe you don’t need to get a probate quote as you can deal with much of the work yourself. But perhaps you want to clarify a few points and get a final check, just to be sure? We can help through a specially negotiated Assisted Probate ServiceIt costs nothing to get a comparative probate fees quote – just tell us a little about the estate and maybe save thousands! We just need an idea of what is in the estate in terms of assets and liabilities, what the Will says, and whether there are any overseas complications (the most common being directly held shares in companies based in the United States.) The more detail the better, but we appreciate there will be unknowns in many cases, and Asset Searches are well worth doing yourself, or through the lawyer.

Probate Quotes
How much can you save with a probate quote?

A Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration usually if there is no Will, sometimes as there is no executor) is the legal document giving the Executors (or Administrators) authority to deal with the assets and liabilities of an estate in accordance with the Will or under the Rules of Intestacy.  Probate quotes do vary wildly from firm to firm – if you find a better one than we are able to offer, please do let us know. Or call 03 300 102 300.  

What that does NOT mean is that the Executor/ Administrator can do what they wish with the estate. If they don’t follow the Law then they may be sued or even prosecuted for theft. Ignorance is no excuse and paying a Probate Lawyer at least to have a check is often prudent.

Court Fees to obtain a Grant of Probate.

or Letters of Administration. There are three sets of costs, the Probate Registry Court Fees, probate solicitors fees, and expenses of the administration. Let us deal with these in turn.

1) Fees charged by the Registry 2022 for the Grant.

Current fees for estates valued at over £5,000 are £273 (from 26-1-22) + £1.50 per copy of the Letters of Administration. There was talk of dramatically increasing these fees, but the Legislation fell through due to the election, so, though regressive, a £58 increase or £108 via solicitors is much less dramatic.

2) Probate Costs – Expenses of the Administration.

Whoever is the Executor or Administrator of the estate, there will be costs involved in managing the process. Expenses that Executors or Administrators can claim personally are very limited. No chance of making a profit legally!

However, it may be necessary to pay out for property insurance (you could get sued if you don’t and something goes wrong), urgent repairs, and maintenance. Other insurance is available to protect executors. Bankruptcy searches on all beneficiaries, Trustee Act Adverts, tracing services, loans to pay Inheritance Tax, probate fees. Professional fees (we can source small amounts of help or a complete service at sensible fees should you wish it. There is also the cost of the funeral to be considered where there was no prepaid plan in place. Provided it is agreed in advance, and the bank (etc) has sufficient funds, many will agree to pay the funeral bill direct to the undertaker – but if you pay it, you will have to wait until the Grant is issued to be reimbursed. See here to sort your own!

3) Professional Probate Fees

Lawyers’ fees vary wildly – as you have probably gathered, our job is to point people in the right direction to firms who can offer the necessary level of support and expertise. That may be 15 minutes of advice or taking over a multinational estate with all its complexities or anything in between.

Bereaved family members are often in no state to deal with complex forms and administration. But we can offer a halfway house through our associates to check things through with you, cutting probate fees to a minimum.

Professional probate quotes vary from around a flat 1% to 5% of the gross estate, to hourly rates, typically over £250 an hour – all plus VAT and often plus charges for letters, phone calls etc. Some add a sucker punch of an extra commission, on top of the cost of the hourly rate, of anything up to 1.8% of the gross (asset value PLUS liability amounts) value of the estate as a “responsibility allowance” – which can triple the bill. We will not recommend anyone who does that, and we’re pretty shocked that the Regulators still allow it.  It amounts to £18 on a £1000 asset or loan or £5,400 one of £300,000 – plus all the time costs. Looking at London properties you “responsibility allowance” element could easily add £36,000 to the bill. The same will apply if the deceased had a mortgage or other debt of the same amounts, so a £500,000 property with a £400,000 mortgage would be dealt with at normal hourly rates – then another £16,200 added to the bill for the heavy responsibility!

The gross estate is the value of the assets PLUS the value of the liabilities, so an estate with a big mortgage (for example) may be far more expensive than you would expect on a “low” percentage lawyer’s fee.

Our associates can help with straightforward estates from as little as £99 an hour or £149 where IHT400 is involved (November 2021) and for more complex estates we would introduce you to others who can provide more sophisticated help at the low end of solicitors fees (but not expertise) – with no nasty responsibility allowance! Alternatively, a flat % of the gross estate. All plus third-party costs (disbursements) and VAT where relevant.

Probate Fees: get Value for Money.  For help call 03 300 102 300.

The amount we can save you on Probate solicitors fees varies substantially: our best to date is a 94% saving! It is unusual for it to be that much, but there are normally substantial savings to be made. We do ask for any quotes you have had, not so we can quote a little less, but so we don’t waste time when you have had a really competitive quote – we’ll just say so! Probate solicitors fees do vary widely, and there are other professionals who can help.

The basic form is simple, but you are welcome to add additional details to help make our recommendations better.

We are told that some firms charge as much as 5% of the GROSS value of the estate, plus VAT which makes it 6% – more than one pound in twenty (plus third party costs) being lost to the beneficiaries.

We appreciate that many people wish to do as much as possible themselves and may only want a limited amount of help to keep probate fees to a minimum (not that that is always a good idea!) On the other hand, some will want everything done for them.

Our job is to introduce clients to suitable experts and to keep tabs on those experts (via your reports) to ensure they are doing a good job and providing value for money. We used to do it in-house, but experience shows that attracting and keeping good quality staff is really tough. So instead of doing that, we spend our time interviewing solicitors and other specialists to form a panel with various areas of expertise.  We can then chat with you to find out what your needs are, and pass you on to the appropriate panel member, once they have confirmed that they have the staff and time available to do the job.  You don’t really want to be 100th in the queue for attention!

Once you confirm that you wish them to act for you,  and have agreed the probate fees, we will send you a questionnaire so that you can report any issues to us.  This will then influence whom we recommend in future, unless the problems are sorted out quickly.

These are typical Probate Services and options:
(Members of our Estate Planning Peace of Mind Service pay 10% less.)

Option 1: they do all the work – there are two options – a fixed probate fee based on the estate or an hourly rate based on the complexity of the estate and the seniority of the staff who need to do the work.   The hourly rate is ideal where the family wish to do some of the easy work or the estate is really simple.

Option 2: Do it all yourself. Probate forms are here.

Option 3: The Assisted Probate Service – you do the easy bits rather than paying £300 an hour to a solicitor.

Option 4Deed of Renunciation (to allow an executor to resign as long as they have not one anything so far).

Option 5: Deed of Variation – to change the way an estate is distributed – with the agreement of those who lose out!  This may save IHT, or skip a generation so those that need help get it soon, not 20 or 30 years later.  It may also be used to create Trusts, and to protect vulnerable folk.

Typical rate in the market for Probate help is around £300 an hour.  Our associates’ rates for simple estates typically range from £99 an hour.  For an estate where Trusts or IHT are involved, the rate is from £149 – still a big saving. Plus third-party costs. Potentially more sophisticated solicitor-led advice will cost more (all solicitors are far from equal in complex probate cases), but will be sensible in the market.  High-level advice may be essential in estates where serious arguments are likely. Not all firms are equipped for Court appearances in disputes.

How much does it cost to get a grant of probate?

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Call us on 03 300 102 300 or use the form below for competitive probate quotes.