Probate Price List
When people die their estate – property, money and possessions – has to be valued to assess if any tax may be due to HMRC. Whilst many estates fall underneath the threshold for tax (currently £325,000), more families are finding that a deceased’s wealth is higher than expected, often due to increases in property values over the past few decades. Taking responsibility for the legal right to deal with someone’s estate, and resolve any tax issues, is called Probate. Probate is a formal legal process and involves the following steps:
- Value the estate and report to HMRC.
- Apply for probate
- Where there is a will, getting a “grant of probate”
- Where there is no will, getting “letters of administration”
- Collect the estate’s assets
- Pay any Inheritance Tax due
- Pay off any debts
- Keep a record (‘Estate Accounts’) of how any property, money or possessions will be split.
- Pass the estate (‘distribute the assets’) to the people named in the will (‘beneficiaries’).
Our charges are calculated on both a time basis and a value element. An amount based on the value of the estate is charged where Mancini Legal is instructed as an executor – one of those responsible for administering the deceased’s will. During our initial meeting with you, we will review how long we anticipate each stage of the probate to take and our estimate of costs. This can vary widely on a case-by-case basis, as can disbursements, dependent on the complexity of the case.
The following disbursements are required at the outset:
|Administration/file set-up fees||£50.00 + VAT|
|Costs for ID checks (per person) – AML||£12.00 + VAT (PP)|
Our initial meeting will be charged by hour, unless otherwise agreed and our current hourly rates for probate work are:
|Alessandro Mancini||£375.00 + VAT|
|Paul Hassall||£295.00 + VAT|
|Colleen Clevett||£245.00 + VAT|
|Whitney Presicci||£205.00 + VAT|
ADDITIONAL COSTS WHERE MANCINI LEGAL IS INSTRUCTED AS AN EXECUTOR
|Value of the Estate||Amount|
|For the first £500,000||1.5% + VAT plus our hourly rate based on work done|
|Excess over £500,000||2.0% +VAT plus our hourly rate based on work done|
Our minimum chargeable fee (not including hourly rate on work due) is £1,500.00+VAT. The hourly rate will be calculated based on who does the work.
For full Administration, the costs are as follows:
|Value of the Estate||Amount|
|For estates below the current inheritance tax threshold (£325,000) where IHT400 does not need to be completed||1% plus VAT of the total amount of the Gross Estate plus the hourly rate based on work done|
|For estates above the current inheritance tax threshold (£325,000), where IHT400 needs to be completed but there is no Inheritance Tax due||1.5% plus VAT of the total amount of the Gross Estate plus the hourly rate based on work done|
|For estates above the current inheritance tax threshold (£325,000) where IHT400 needs to be completed and there is Inheritance Tax due||2% plus VAT of the total amount of the Gross Estate plus the hourly rate based on work done|
In addition to the above, the following disbursements will be due:
|Application Fee payable to HMCTS (excluding additional copies)||£170|
|Will Search with the National Register||£125 + VAT|
|Anti-Money Laundering & ID checks for each beneficiary (per person) Required by the new Compliance Regulations||£12 + VAT|
|Admin Charge – Obtaining an office will||£50 + VAT|
|London Gazette Announcement||£64.25 + VAT|
|Local Newspaper notices (price can vary)||£190.00 + VAT|
Fixed fees up to and including the application for the Grant of Probate
|Value of the Estate||Amount|
|For estates below the current inheritance tax threshold (£325,000), where IHT400 does not need to be completed.||£1,500 +VAT plus any application fee payable to TMCTS of £170.00|
|Grant only (price on application)||£150-170|
Additional statutory disbursements
In addition to the fees quoted above, a number of other disbursements may or may not be payable. Disbursements are payments made to third parties on your behalf and these are a standard part of the process. These fees are not set by Mancini Legal and will be the same no matter which solicitor you choose. Below is a list of some common disbursements and their usual cost.
|Regulatory conflict Check and Compliance check (on all matters)||£47.50|
|Company Due Diligence Check||£25.00|
|Dealing with Third party lawyers||£185.00|
|Administration Fee in connection to ID verification for any additional person||£12.00|
|Arranging an indemnity policy||£50.00|
Key Stages and Timescales
As you might imagine, the length of time it takes to administer an estate depends greatly on the complexity of the case. Much is dependent on the responsiveness of third parties such as Inland Revenue, the Court of Protection and other financial institutions that may be involved.
|Simple Estate||3-6 Months|
|Complex Estate||12+ Months|
Many people’s affairs are complex and HMRC can be quite rigorous about valuing assets – such as jewellery, paintings, vintage cars or a wine collection that most of us think of as family heirlooms. Property, especially overseas property, can be very hard to value, as can privately owned businesses, especially in the current Covid-19 climate. The examples below are not real cases, but sample stories to illustrate how complex probate can be, and things executors need to think about.
A simple probate and execution
The deceased, Mr Burrows, made his will through Mancini Legal and, having no close relatives, appointed the firm as his executors to make sure his wife was looked after properly. He and his wife shared a house worth £450,000 and he had a share portfolio of £150,000. His half of the house and shares mean his estate is worth £375,000 and therefore needs to be reported to HMRC, but as he left everything to his wife, Mancini Legal can apply for probate confirming that no tax is due. Mancini Legal informs Mrs Burrows however that she should make provision for tax planning as, when she passes, her estate may well be above the threshold for IHT and tax will need to be paid. This probate would attract our lowest level charges and could be executed at our lowest hourly rate.
Resolving a complicated estate
The Honourable Cynthia Cholmondley died a spinster and her executors, two nephews and a niece, need to resolve her affairs as she has a large family to whom there are numerous bequests due. Having herself received legacies at various times of her life, her assets include several properties (including a house in France and a villa in Gran Canaria), an art collection and some wonderful antique jewellery. She also had two racehorses in training, for which bills are being disputed. In order to minimise the tax that will inevitably have to be paid, it is essential to consider every aspect of valuation – HMRC are particularly interested in the paintings and are disputing the value of the overseas properties, which have slumped due to Covid-19. Whilst many aspects of the process of this probate are straightforward, the complexities will take time to resolve. Mancini Legal take on the work on a blended hourly rate as several of the team will be involved. A fee based on the ultimate value of the estate will be due once probate has been agreed.
Untangling the complex arrangements of a businessman
Mancini Legal had acted for local entrepreneur and businessman Mr Black in many commercial transactions. When he died unexpectedly his executors, his son and daughter from his first marriage, felt unable to administer his estate due to a range of complications. Mr Black had married a second time and was waiting for the divorce with his second wife to come through whilst living with a new partner. He had last made a will with Mancini Legal after his second wedding. He had several local properties (his ex-wives live in two of them) and a number of businesses, often with other shareholders with pre-emption rights on acquiring his shareholding – at valuations dramatically reduced by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, also due to Covid-19, most of the businesses had debts or loans outstanding. Luckily Mancini Legal not only had very good insight into his business affairs but, as one of the largest conveyancing solicitors in the area had excellent experience of local property values. As Mr Black’s interests were all local, and Mancini Legal had a good understanding of all the issues, untangling the situation and gaining probate was more straightforward than might be supposed. Executing the will may be another thing entirely.
Our team of probate professionals
Solicitor, LLB, DipIp
Qualified : 2009
Private Client Manager and Trust Specialist
FCII CeMAP/Chartered Insurer
Years of Experience : 30+ Years
Private Client Executive