Applying for the grant of probate, collecting and distributing the assets legal fees administration

Our fees


Generally estate fees range as follows;

As a guidance, for an estate worth:

  • Upto £200,000 the firm’s professional fees will likely be in the region of £4,000 and £8,000 plus VAT and disbursements

  • £300,000  -£500,000 the firm’s professional fees will likely be in the region of £8,000 to £12,000.00 plus VAT and disbursements

  • Above £500,000 the firm’s professional fees will likely be in the region of £12,000 to £20,000 plus VAT and disbursements

  • £1,000,000 and above the firm’s professional fees will be discussed directly with the client.

Please note that these fees are indicative only and each estate will be considered and charged appropriately.

Estate  work is complicated because there are numerous variables that impact on administering an estate. The exact cost of administering the full estate will depend on the individual circumstances of each estate and the assets involved. As a rule of Thumb the more valuable and/or complex an estate is, the more expense it is to administer.

In all the below examples, much will depend on the assets of the estate (i.e if there are shareholdings and if these shareholdings are outside the UK they can cause complications for an estate.) If there is one beneficiary and no property(house or land), costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, multiple bank accounts or investments, and numerous properties costs could be at the higher end.

How Executors can help control the fees:

In order to help control our fees the Executors can do the following:

  • Provide us with complete and up to date information about the deceased estate

  • Provide original documentation (eg in a case where an estate involves shareholdings with paper certificates you must provide the original share certificates otherwise we will have to obtain an original share certificate and this takes time and a fee will be payable  to the Registrars to obtain a replacement);

  • Please ensure that you provide us with clear and timely instructions.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a more effective process. Disbursements not included in this fee are:

  • Search fees – copies from Land Registry: £3.00 plus VAT per document;

  • Land Registry Registration fee if property being retained

  • Bankruptcy- Land Charges Department searches £2.00 plus VAT per beneficiary;

  • Post in The London Gazette and local/national newspaper (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors): £      (approximately, including VAT); and

  • Telegraphic transfer fee to beneficiary: £25.00 plus VAT (per payment.) plus additional bank charged for overseas bank accounts.

  • Charges levied by third parties for services (for example, stock brokers fees and valuers fees etc)

*There are currently plans to increase the probate court fees. Whilst this is still with Parliament the probate court fees could be subject to significant change in the near future.

Matters that can affect the costs of administering an estate:

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list but gives an indication on what type of complications there may be in administering an estate

  • If there is no Will; a Search with Certainty the National Will Register will be advised (current fees for combined search £114.00.)

  • The estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs especially if these shareholdings are abroad. These costs will be discussed with you;

  • There are assets that are overseas ( eg properties , shareholdings and bank accounts. Please note that a separate grant may need to be obtained from another jurisdiction in order to deal with an asset abroad again this can cause delays and additional costs.);

  • We would advise engaging a professional firm (eg Title Research to deal with disposal or transfer of foreign assets and the professional firm will charge their own fees;

  • There is an interest in an ongoing business within the estate, eg where the deceased was in a business partnership;

  • If the terms of the Will are contested by a beneficiary or a claim is made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975;

  • If the HMRC decide to investigate tax affairs;

  • Beneficiaries cannot be found;

  • The named executors are dead or lacking capacity;

  • The Will contains a large number of legacies (specific gifts  of sums of money or items of property to individuals);

  • If there is a Trust associated with the estate;

  • If it is decided to make a deed of variation to alter the Will ( Perhaps to save Inheritance Tax or because of the terms of the Will have unforeseen outcomes for the beneficiaries) . This can be discussed with the fee earner. This will be charged additional to the probate administration in fees;

  • Please note that the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included within the above pricing. This will be charged separately in accordance with our residential conveyancing fees.


On average, normal standard family estates could be dealt with within 12 months. Typically:

  • Investigation assets and liabilities to make an application for a grant can take 2-3 months

  • Obtaining the grant of probate from the Probate Registry can take between 8 and 12 weeks, depending on the Registry concerned;

  • After the Grant collecting assets can take between 2-3 months and if there is property to be sold this can be longer(depending on how quickly an offer is received to purchase);

  • Once all the above has been done, we will check the income and tax position and the Inheritance Tax position and consider distributing the assets;

  • If the estate is liable to pay Inheritance Tax then  distribution  will be dependent on how quickly HMRC provide clearance for the executors to end the period of administration in complex cases it can take up to 2 years to obtain clearance but we endeavour to always keep in regular contact with the HMRC to speed matters along.



4 West St, Oundle, Peterborough PE8 4EF, UK


Tel 01832 272971

Fax 01832 273115

©2020 by Vincent Sykes. Vincent Sykes, Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA No. 75303. VAT Reg No: 737 9373 88