Our Services

Solicitors in Westminster, London

Our Probate Fees

We are required by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority to provide a range of prices for certain services that the Private Client Team offer.

Probate and Administration of Uncontested Estates - UK only

The Court of Probate was established in London in 1858 and LBMW LLP was established shortly before that in 1855.  The firm has been providing probate services for many years, probate was originally administered by the Ecclesiastical courts where we also have extensive experience.

LBMW LLP are long established probate practitioners and have extensive experience in solving complex issues that may arise following death.  Each team working on a matter is small and empathetic, being sensitive to the nature of the work and each matter is led by a partner or consultant.

Our fees are calculated on an hourly rate of the member of the team who is acting in the matter.  The hourly rates will depend on who is involved on the matter ranging from £225 to £450 plus VAT and any third-party expenses that may be incurred during the administration of the estate which may also be subject to VAT.

We will normally provide an estimate of the costs involved in the probate at the beginning of the matter.  These cost estimates are not fixed fees nor are they capped and the actual cost incurred may be more or less that the amount that has been estimated. Should there be unexpected complications during the course of the matter, additional costs may be incurred.  We would expect to provide you with an update of any additional costs that might exceed the initial estimate.

We make every effort to ensure that each matter is handled by the most appropriate person based on their expertise and experience. The full details of each member of the team are available through the following links:

  • Catherine Pugsley - Partner
    Catherine's standard hourly rate is £450.00
     
  • Andrew Grant - Partner
    Andrew's standard hourly rate is £375.00
     
  • Megan Morgan – Assistant Solicitor
    Megan's standard hourly rate is £280.00
     
  • Ben Nichols – Assistant Solicitor
    Ben's standard hourly rate is £250.00
     
  • Clare Bristow – Trust Manager
    Clare’s standard hourly rate is £225.00
     
  • Trainee time is charged at £225.00 per hour

Our Fees

There are two stages involved with the administration of an estate:

  1. applying for the grant of representation; and
  2. administering the estate.

Applying for and obtaining a grant of representation for a solely UK estate which is not contested can cost between £5,000 to £60,000.  The fees that will be incurred to obtain a grant of probate will vary considerably depending on the extent and nature of the deceased’s estate.  To obtain the grant of probate an inheritance tax return must be submitted to HMRC and any inheritance tax that is due should be paid before an application can be made for the grant of probate.  The fees will be incurred on a time costs basis and we would expect to receive a completed probate questionnaire and full details of the circumstances of the deceased so that we can understand the extent of the estate so that we can provide an accurate estimate of the likely fees. 

We would take into account a range of factors when providing our estimate including:

  • whether there is a valid Will or whether it is an intestate estate;
  • the complexity of the assets and their location and of any valuations that are required for assets in the estate;
  • the domicile and residence of the deceased and place of death;
  • the civil status of the deceased;
  • the urgency of the matter;
  • the amount of correspondence that will be required;
  • the quality of the information that can be provided by the personal representatives or executors;
  • the financial records that have been maintained by the deceased or their advisers;
  • the identity and location of the beneficiaries, executors or personal representatives;
  • whether there are any trusts established under the Will; and
  • the need to engage with any third parties, the Probate Registry and HMRC. 

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An example of our fees for applying for an obtaining a grant of probate:

UK resident and domiciled deceased (solely UK - no foreign aspects)

Simple Estate - no reliefs (other than Spouse exemption) for Agricultural or Business Property

£5,000 - £10,000

Complex estates including relevant reliefs

£10,000 - £25,000

Additional work for supplementary documents eg conditional IHT exemptions for heritage property or deeds of variation

commence at £2,000

 

Intestate Estates – no Will                                       

Simple Estate - no reliefs (other than Spouse exemption) for Agricultural or Business Property

£5,000 - £12,000

Complex estates including relevant IHT reliefs

£12,000 - £25,000

Additional work for supplementary documents eg conditional IHT exemptions for heritage property or deeds of variation

commence at £2,000

 

VAT

We are obliged to charge VAT (at the standard rate – currently 20%) on our costs and on those disbursements that are subject to VAT at the applicable rate. All cost estimates provided are exclusive of VAT.

VAT is chargeable where the personal representatives of the deceased are resident in the UK or in the EU. If the personal representatives are not resident in the UK or in the EU, VAT will not be chargeable.

Third Party Expenses

We will anticipate some third-party expenses and disbursements on your behalf and so these will appear on our invoice to you.

The likely disbursements that will be incurred are:

  • probate application fees which are currently £155 plus £1.50 for each official copy of the grant of representation obtained;
  • valuation fees (which will depend on the nature of the asset valued);
  • costs of advertising for creditors which are approximately £200 - £400; and
  • other third-party fees, such as translation costs and overseas lawyers’ fees.

All fees are exclusive of any costs and VAT.

Work Undertaken on your behalf

Prior to commencing work for you we set out the work that we will undertake on your behalf in our letter of engagement.  The work undertaken will be bespoke to your particular requirements once we have reviewed the completed probate questionnaire and understood your circumstances.

When applying for the grant of representation the usual work for assisting with a UK probate application would include:

  • locating, reviewing and checking the validity of any testamentary documents – (Will(s) and codicils);
  • ascertaining the domicile position of the deceased;
  • gathering information on the assets and liabilities of the deceased at the date of death;
  • corresponding with any asset holders and creditors and with the insurers to put the names of the personal representatives onto the policy;
  • obtaining valuations where necessary;
  • checking if the deceased made any lifetime gifts relevant for Inheritance Tax purposes;
  • advertising for creditors;
  • checking the income tax position of the deceased during their lifetime (ensuring that, if necessary, a tax return is prepared to the date of death);
  • preparing the Inheritance Tax return and submitting this to HMRC;
  • arranging for the Inheritance Tax to be paid; and
  • drafting the documentation and applying for the grant of representation and submitting this to the Probate Registry.

At present applications for grants of representation take between 4 to 12 months to prepare and the Probate registry takes up to 3 months to return the grant of probate.

When administering the estate, the usual work for assisting with a UK probate application would include:

  • collecting in assets;
  • arranging for assets to be sold or transferred to beneficiaries;
  • settling liabilities;
  • paying legacies;
  • compiling estate accounts and any corrective accounts;
  • responding to any queries raised by HMRC in relation to the Inheritance Tax account and obtaining Inheritance Tax clearance;
  • preparing tax returns to the date of death and for the administration period; and
  • distributing the residuary estate.

Estates with Cross Border Aspects

We have a great deal of experience in the administration estates with a cross border aspect. These estates require additional expertise; therefore we have not included this work in the fee structure set out above.  Our hourly rates will apply as set out above. A separate fee estimate can be provided for this work.

Contentious Estates

We have a team of lawyers who are highly experienced in contentious estates and again, because these estates require specific expertise, they have not been included in this fee structure.  Our hourly rates will apply as set out above. A separate fee estimate can be provided for this work.

 

 

  • Andrew Grant
      • 0207 960 7161
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  • Catherine Pugsley
      • 07435 015 723
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  • Megan Morgan
      • 0207 960 7266
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  • Ben Nichols
      • 0207 2225381
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  • Katya Churchill
      • 0207 2225381
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  • Michael Fletcher
      • 020 7960 7195
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  • John Randel
      • 0207 960 7138
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  • Clare Bristow
      • 0207 2225381
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  • Nancy Purle
      • 020 7960 7110
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