Probate Costs

The costs of instructing a Specialist Probate Lawyer at BJ McKenna and Co Solicitors is generally deducted directly from the estate and therefore you are not personally liable for our fees, except in cases such as insolvency.

We usually charge an hourly rate of £275 plus VAT for probate work. However, we do sometimes offer a fixed fee if we are just dealing with the estate on a Grant only basis.  This option is only available for simple, non taxable estates.  Our fixed fee is £995 plus VAT.

Initial telephone consultation Free of charge
Obtaining Grant of Probate starting at £995.00 plus vat of £199.00 total £1,194.00 plus third party costs Probate Registry fees £155.00 plus £1.50 for each copy of the Grant of Probate
Obtaining Letters of Administration starting at £995.00 plus vat of £199.00 total £1,194.00 plus third party costs Probate Registry fees £155.00 plus £1.50 for each copy of the Letters of Administration
Probate work if required beyond obtaining the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, including obtaining the Grant £27.50 plus vat of £5.50 in total £33.00 for six minutes work, per letter or 6 minute telephone call.
  Estimated Charges
  • For an estate valued at £325,000 or under approximate costs starting at £3,000 plus vat of £600 and Probate Registry fees of £155.00 plus £1.50 for each copy of the Grant of Probate
  • For an estate valued at between £325,001 and £500,000 approximate costs starting at £4,500 plus vat of £900 and Probate Registry fees of £155.00 plus £1.50 for each copy of the Grant of Probate
  • For an estate valued over £500,000 costs to be agreed and Probate Registry fees of £155.00 plus £1.50 for each copy of the Grant of Probate

By way of guidance a small estate without any property and a single bank account can cost between £2,750 and £5,300 plus VAT.  After our initial meeting we will provide you with a cost estimate and keep you updated as the matter progresses.  Please note that larger more complex estate can cost between £10,000 and £35,000 depending upon the complexity.

Everything we do is charged to our system. There are no hidden charges, and we aim to be transparent with how we charge for the work. We use a case management system called Proclaim which keeps a record of all letters, emails, telephone calls and any other actions in relation to your file.

Proclaim is really helpful as it means that everything is stored electronically and automatically recorded to the system. This increases accuracy in our billing and also ensures that we have everything properly recorded to our system. It means that we can be more efficient when dealing with the file and we can quickly identify and resolve any issues.

Every time we work on your file the time taken is recorded. As with all legal work the minimum unit is 6 minutes, and each unit has a cost of £27.50. All communication between us is chargeable.

We produce interim invoices periodically. When we produce an invoice, this is based on a billing guide which is exported from our proclaim system, and it lists all of the chargeable units. We review the billing guide to check for accuracy and errors. Although in accordance with our terms we are entitled to charge for every item recorded, we feel that it is fairer to go through these guides and remove certain items at our discretion. For example, a simple acknowledgement of an email.

Wills & Probate

Our quote is based upon providing you with updates periodically, however, if you would like more regular updates, we will be happy to deal with this however, please note that this will incur additional costs above our initial quotation. For example, if you contact us several times per day or week, this of course incurs additional time on your matter and is charged accordingly. It is more time and cost effective if we correspond less frequently but in more detail.

For example, rather than emailing several shorter emails as and when you think of a query, it may be worth gathering your queries and sending one larger email at the end of the week with all of your queries. We would then only need to respond to your one email rather than several smaller emails.

We will also incur disbursements on your behalf such as Land Registry search fees of £3 per copy, ID checks at around £5.40, Court fees of £300 plus £1.50 per copy.

We will review with you the estimate of the total charges after the Grant has been obtained and periodically thereafter. Please note that interim invoices will be processed as the matter progresses and we will provide you with a copy for information.

Dealing with the affairs of someone who has died can take a long time. It is not unusual for it to take up to a year, perhaps longer if matters are not straightforward.

Many organisations may be involved in the process, for example, banks, building societies, insurance companies and HMRC. The estate cannot be dealt with until all claims to it have been received. Individuals have six months from the date when probate was granted to make claims against the estate.

Other matters affecting the time taken are: whether the financial affairs of the person who died were in order; what the person who died owned and where it is; whether the person who died had an interest in a business; what the will or the rules of intestacy say; whether there are any legal disputes (claims against the estate or claims by the estate) and whether inheritance tax needs to be paid.

Also all HMRC files must be are closed and matters relating to income tax, benefits and pensions finalised.

Arguments between family members, beneficiaries or personal representatives can delay matters. Disagreements must be sorted out before the affairs of the person who died can be settled.

You will, of course, be kept informed of progress throughout, the reasons for any delays will be explained and you will be advised if any additional, unforeseen work becomes necessary.

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