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Probate Costs

Please note that the following information is for guidance only.  We will provide you with a firm quote for the costs involved in administering an estate after an initial consultation with you, once we have all the necessary information to hand relating to the estate.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We anticipate that this will take between 15 and 20 hours work at £165 plus VAT (£198) to £265 plus VAT (£318) per hour (between £2,970/£4,770 and £3,960/£6,360) depending on the fee earner dealing with the matter and their level of expertise.  Please note these rates change on an annual basis.

Wherever possible we try to allocate the work to the most appropriate fee earner with the most suitable level of expertise so that the more straightforward and simple probates are dealt with by fee earners with lower hourly rates of charge.

We will handle the full process for you.  These estimates are for estates where:

  • There is a valid will

  • There is no more than one property

  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts

  • There are no other intangible assets

  • There is 1 to 3 beneficiaries

  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise it is likely to lead to an increase in costs

  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a detailed account to HMRC direct

  • There are no claims made against the estate.

Disbursements included in this fee (all of which are not subject to VAT):

  • Probate application of £155 plus £1.50 per sealed copy

  • Bankruptcy only Land Registry charges searches £2 per beneficiary

  • £100 post in the London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims for unknown creditors

  • £300 to £500 post in a local newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims and the costs vary depending upon the newspaper in which the notice is printed.

Disbursements are costs relating to your matter which are payable to third parties, such as Court fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Potential Additional Costs

The following will increase the costs estimated above:

  • If there is no will

  • If the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds)

  • If the deceased had an interest in a trust during their lifetime

  • If the estate includes foreign property

  • If the estate includes more than one property

  • If the deceased made lifetime gifts during the 7 years preceding their death which need to be reported to HM Revenue & Customs

  • The estate is insolvent

  • Whether an IHT 400 account needs to be prepared and inheritance tax paid to HM Revenue & Customs

  • Where there is a need to make sure that HM Revenue & Customs files are closed and that matters relating to income tax, benefits agencies and pensions have been sorted out

  • Whether the person who died had an interest in a business or a farm

  • Where reliefs are to be claimed such as transferrable nil rate bands and residence nil rate bands, business property relief, agricultural property relief, spouse exemption and or charity exemptions

  • Where there are more than 3 beneficiaries

  • If the deceased’s financial affairs were not in order when they died

  • If there are any legal disputes (claims against the estate or claims by the estate)

  • Where income tax returns to the date of death are required to be prepared

  • Clearing of a house

  • Arranging insurance for houses and contents

  • Valuations of assets

All of the above factors are likely to increase the costs quoted and this could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with.  We can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information.  Please also note this list is not exhaustive.

  • If any additional copies of the grant are required they will cost 50p (one per asset usually)

  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take

On average estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 12 months typically obtaining the grant of probate takes 2 to 3 weeks, collecting assets then following which can take between 4 to 8 weeks.  Once this has been done we can distribute the assets which normally takes in the region of 2 to 3 weeks.

Work included

As part of the costs estimated above we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or legal executive to work on your matter

  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries

  • Accurately identify the type of probate application you will require

  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application

  • Complete the probate application and relevant HMRC forms

  • Draft a legal oath or statement for you to swear

  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf

  • Obtain the probate and securely send two copies to you

  • Collect and distribute all the assets in the estate in accordance with the will


Our team has over 165 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to wills and estate administration.  The team has particular expertise in high value estates, trust administration and inheritance tax matters.  We have 8 members of the team who may work on your matter.  Regardless who works on your matter they will be supervised by Suzanne Margaret Porter Director and Head of Probate and Estate Administration.

Please click on the profile below to direct you to further details of the qualification and experience of the individuals.

Wills & Probate Team

Suzanne Porter

Breda Cashell

Rachel Baseley

Jessica Rowbotham

Shaun Talbot

Jennifer Robinson

Our Clients Say

Please click on any of the links below to see our client’s testimonials.

Mike Hirst - Swann-Morton
Brian Middleton
David and Elizabeth Marsden
Joanne and Michael Duffin
Mrs C C
Michael Moore

"Suzanne Porter and Rachel Baseley have advised many of our employees on such delicate matters either at Wake Smith’s offices, Swann-Morton’s premises or in individuals’ homes, and have always been compassionate, understanding and patient in gaining an understanding of their requirements and wishes whilst delivering a solution in a professional manner. Their reaction has been very timely when required, which has helped to reassure the individuals and their families. We look forward to a continuing long-term and professional relationship not only with the Wills and Probate team but with Wake Smith as a whole."

Mike Hirst - Swann-Morton

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Office Hours:
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Sheffield Head Office - City Centre
No1 Velocity
2 Tenter Street
S1 4BY
Tel: 0114 266 6660
Fax: 0114 267 1253
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DX: 10534 Sheffield 1


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