Probate

When a loved one passes away, you may be faced with the task of acting as their executor or administrator to deal with their affairs.  At Butcher & Barlow, we understand the stress that this adds to an already difficult and emotional time, especially if you haven’t received the right advice and support to guide you through the daunting process.

Obtaining the Grant of Probate and dealing with the collection and administration of assets is all part of the service our highly skilled team of probate solicitors can offer you and your family. We always aim to provide a responsive and proactive service to ensure that the wishes of your loved ones are respected and carried out whilst also making the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

We can offer a range of services, tailored to your specific needs, from simply obtaining the Grant of Probate, through to advising on and dealing with a range of tax issues and dealing with the full estate administration.

Inheritance tax is a complicated area that can be difficult to understand. We are able to calculate for you whether there is any Inheritance tax due, advise on the appropriate exemptions that may be available and help to claim such exemptions.  Where applicable we will arrange for the appropriate amount of tax to be paid from the estate which is essential in making sure the estate is administered properly.

Please contact a member of our team below in order to arrange a mutually convenient appointment to discuss your circumstances.

Probate

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the body which regulates law firms, require us to provide you with information on our costs in relation to certain legal services which we provide.  This is so that you have the information you need to make an informed choice of legal service provider, and an understanding as to what the total cost of that service may be.

One such legal service is the administration estates which included the collection and distribution of money, property and other assets belonging to a person following their death, where these assets are in the UK, and they are not contested. For any other probate query, please contact the Probate Team for a no-obligation discussion.

Each probate matter which we deal with is unique, albeit that there are common elements to each case.

We have provided below pricing information for a number of different scenarios which we come across, however exact costs will depend on the specific circumstances.  We have listed factors which may cause the price to vary but for an accurate quote, please contact a member of the team and explain your specific circumstances and requirements.

Applying for the Grant of Probate only

If there is a valid Will in place, you can instruct us to only apply to the Probate Registry to obtain the Grant of Probate on your behalf.

Non-Taxable Estates:  Where the total value of the assets in the estate is less than the nil rate band

Legal Fees:£800 plus VAT (£960)
Disbursements:These are cost relating to your matter that are payable to 3rd parties
Probate Court Fee:£155 for estates over £5000
Swearing of the Oath (per executor):£5 plus £2 for each exhibit
Extra copies of the grant of probate

(you would normally require one per asset)

50p

What this includes:

  • Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or executive to work on your matter.
  • Identifying the legally appointed Executors or Administrators.
  • Completing the Probate Application for HMRC utilising the documents you have provided.
  • Preparing a legal oath for you to swear.
  • Making the application to HMRC on your behalf.
  • Obtaining the Probate and sending two copies to you.

Taxable Estates:  Where the total value of the assets in the estate exceeds the nil rate band

If is an estate is taxable we are unable to provide a fixed fee.  The exact cost will depend on the number and complexity of the assets in the estate, and whether you are claiming any tax reliefs.  This factors impact on the extent of the reporting to HMRC.  Our fees will be calculated based on the number of hours it takes to complete the required HMRC forms. The hourly rate will depend on the level of experience of the Fee Earner dealing with your matter.

Legal Fees:Between £1000 & £2000 plus VAT (£1200  – £2400)
Disbursements:These are cost relating to your matter that are payable to 3rd parties
Probate Court Fee:£155 for estates over £5000
Swearing of the Oath (per executor):£5 plus £2 for each exhibit
Extra copies of the grant of probate

(you would normally require one per asset)

50p

What this includes:

  • Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or executive to work on your matter.
  • Identifying the legally appointed Executors or Administrators.
  • Completing the Probate Application for HMRC utilising the documents you have provided.
  • Preparing a legal oath for you to swear.
  • Making the application to HMRC on your behalf.
  • Obtaining the Probate and sending two copies to you.

These estimates are for applying for the grant only.  If the instructions extend beyond this, the price will increase. Examples of situations where the price would increase include, but are not limited to:

  • If the person making the application is doing so acting under a Power of Attorney or a Court of Protection Deputyship.
  • If you require advice on the valuations obtained for the assets in the estate.
  • If there are any foreign or business assets in the estate.

Applying for the Grant of Probate, collecting and distributing assets

If there is a valid Will in place, you can instruct us to deal with the whole administration of the estate the cost for which would include:

  • Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor or executive to work on your matter.
  • Identifying the legally appointed Executors or Administrators.
  • Collecting the details of the assets and liabilities.
  • Completing the Probate Application for HMRC utilising the information we have obtained
  • Preparing a legal oath for you to swear.
  • Making the application to HMRC on your behalf.
  • Closing all accounts and arranging the sale of any property.
  • Distributing the estate to beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.

Our fees will be calculated based on the number of hours it takes to complete the administration. The hourly rate will depend on the level of experience of the Fee Earner dealing with your matter.

Non-Taxable Estates:  Where the total value of the assets in the estate is less than the nil rate band (before the use of the Residents Nil Rate Band)

Legal Fees:£3000-£6000 plus VAT (£3600 – £7200)
Disbursements:These are cost relating to your matter that are payable to 3rd parties
Probate Court Fee:£155  for estates over £5000
Swearing of the Oath (per executor):£5 plus £2 for each exhibit
Extra copies of the grant of probate

(you would normally require one per asset)

50p
Bankruptcy-only Land Charges search (per beneficiary):£2
S.27 Notice in the London Gazette and in a local newspaper£150-200 depending on the local paper’s fees.

Factors which may cause the costs to rise above this estimate are:

  • If the person making the application is doing so acting under a Power of Attorney or a Court of Protection Deputyship.
  • If the validity of the Will is questioned.
  • If the Will is complex.
  • If any of the beneficiaries are unknown or need to be traced.
  • If there is a Trust contained in the Will.
  • If the Residence Nil Rate Band is being claimed.
  • If there is a dispute between beneficiaries on the division of the assets.
  • If there is inheritance tax payable and the Executors need to submit a full account to the HMRC.
  • If there is a claim made against the estate.
  • If there is more than one property.
  • If there are foreign assets.
  • If there are business assets.
  • If the estate consists of any shareholdings.
  • If corrective accounts need to be submitted to HMRC.

Please note that additional costs will be incurred for the sale or transfer of any property in the estate and please see our sales page for pricing details.

We can provide you with a more accurate estimate once we have more information about the estate.

Intestate Estates

A person may pass away without leaving a Will, or a valid Will.  This means that they have died intestate.

Although the processes referred to above will still apply, additional costs will be incurred.  We will incur extra time in identifying and tracing the correct person to administer the estate and the beneficiaries of the estate.  The additional costs are usually in the region of £2000 to £4000 plus VAT (£2400 -£4800) but we can give you a more accurate quote once we know more about the deceased circumstances.

We would instruct an Enquiry Agent or Tracing Agent to provide confirmation of the people entitles to benefit.  They would charge for their services as a disbursement.  The costs depend on the particular situation, for example, the number of beneficiaries that need to be traced, or the complexity of the family structure.  A estimate would be provided before the work was undertaken.

Key Stages

How long the administration of an estate takes is dependant upon a large number of factors including the complexity of the estate and the cooperation of other people and organisations involved.  The chart below shows the standard procedure for the administration of the estate with average timescales.  Our experienced Probate Team will talk you through the procedure and likely timescales in more detail once the specifics of the estate are known.

Download PDF

The Probate Team

Meet our specialist Probate and Administration of Estates team.

an image of Chris Hopkins, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Chris Hopkins

Bury - Head Office

an image of Mike Bracegirdle, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Mike Bracegirdle

Northwich - Gadbrook Park

an image of John Hyatt, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

John Hyatt

Sandbach

an image of Kevan Hankinson, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Kevan Hankinson

Bury - Family Department, Prestwich

an image of Samuel Dale, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Samuel Dale

Sandbach

an image of Jessica Shore, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Jessica Shore

Northwich, Northwich - Gadbrook Park

an image of Emma Delaney, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Emma Delaney

Bury - Head Office

Diane Heron

Diane Heron

Frodsham

probate image

Katy Morgan

Bury - Head Office

What our clients say

Thank you so much for all your help and advice through this tragic time. Just knowing you were at the end of the phone if I needed you was a huge relief.

Stuart Shaw

We are both most grateful to you and your team for your professional services.

My parents have dealt with Butcher & Barlow for various matters over many years. My father always maintained that they are a professional and efficient company. I personally have dealt with the Firm and I wholeheartedly agree with the comments of my late father.

Extremely impressed with the service received regarding my late mother's estate. I would definitely recommend the services of Butcher & Barlow Sandbach. A very professional service.

I am very grateful for the work undertaken on my behalf.

My tasks throughout have been greatly eased by my decision to pass the legal work to Butcher & Barlow has certainly proved to be a wise choice, particularly as initially I was minded to ‘go it alone’.

I would seek your legal support and advice should a future need arise and also recommend the practice to anyone seeking legal representation.

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