Probate and Estate Administration

Losing a loved one is a difficult enough time without the added stress and confusion that goes with Probate and Estate Administration. GWlegal can help lift this burden, allowing you to spend precious time with your family.


Probate: What's involved

Probate is one of those terms people have heard of but aren’t exactly sure what it means or what’s involved. In a nutshell, probate is the name for the legal process for the application of the authority to deal with and administer a deceased’s affairs and estate.

If there is a Will, it is the executor who deals with the administration of the estate. This includes:

  • Registering the death (often a family member or someone present at the death will do this)
  • Locating the Will
  • Arranging the funeral
  • Collecting all the appropriate papers (e.g. bank statements, bills and share certificates)
  • Establishing the value of the estate, organising valuations where appropriate
  • Paying any Inheritance Tax (IHT) to H.M. Revenue and Customs
  • Applying for the Grant of Representation
  • Notifying all the necessary authorities such as:
    H.M. Revenue and Customs
    The Department of Work and Pensions
    Employers
    Banks, building societies and insurance companies
  • Settling all outstanding debts
  • Dividing the estate between named beneficiaries (or under the rules of intestacy if there is no will).

No need to go through it alone

Probate and Estate Administration is a lengthy process and, unfortunately, comes at an already highly emotional time. Our probate services can, however, help with this responsibility. We can take charge of the following aspects of probate and ensure the estate is administered as quickly and as efficiently as possible:

  • Establish the value of the estate
  • Pay any Inheritance Tax
  • Apply for the Grant of Representation
  • Notify all the necessary authorities
  • Pay all debts
  • Divide the estate amongst the beneficiaries (or under the rules of intestacy if there was not a will in place).

Probate Costs

Grant of Probate

Grant only application: £700 + VAT (when there is a will and no Inheritance Tax is payable). VAT is chargeable at 20%.

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 smoother process.

One disbursement is the Probate Court fee of £158. This includes two sealed copies of the grant for use by the executor in the administration.

Other disbursements that may apply include:

  • Swearing of the oath £10.00 (per executor) if a swear is required
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches £3.00 (per beneficiary)
  • Post in The London Gazette currently £85.80 (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors)
  • Post in a Local Newspaper varies depending on local paper’s charges £75.00- £175.00 on average (this also helps to protect against unexpected claims).

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor 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 the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear or the statement of truth to sign
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send it and two copies to you.

On average, typical uncomplex estates are dealt with within 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks.

This fee is only for obtaining the grant. If you would also like us to assist with collection and distribution of assets, please see below.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

Grant and Distributing the Estate (full administration): £275 + VAT hourly rate for time spent working on the file. We anticipate this will take between 25-35 hours work. Total costs estimated at £6,000-£10,0000 + VAT. VAT is chargeable at 20%.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end or exceed these costs. If there is Inheritance tax then the costs will most likely exceed these costs.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2-6 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

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 smoother process.

One disbursement is the Probate Court fee of £158. This includes sealed copies of the grant for use by the executor in the administration.

Other disbursements that may apply include:

  • Swearing of the oath £10.00 (per executor) if a swear is required
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches £3.00 (per beneficiary)
  • Post in The London Gazette currently £85.80 (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) or
  • Certainty Wills Register Search ‘Wills Search Protect’ also includes the above London Gazette Notice at £238.80 including VAT for both
  • Post in a Local Newspaper varies depending on local paper’s charges £75.00- £175.00 on average (this also helps to protect against unexpected claims)

There are a number of disbursements which may be applicable to the above which will depend on the circumstances of the case itself. We will discuss these with you and let you know what these fees are, before going ahead with any additional work.

Potential additional costs:

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually)
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor 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 the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear or the statement of truth to sign
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you

On average, typical uncomplex estates are dealt with within 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 12 weeks. Once this has been done, and the statutory 6 month post grant notice period for claims has expired we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-8 weeks from then.

Our team has over 50 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 and inheritance tax matters.

We have 3 members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Linda, Head of Wills & Probate.


Meet Linda. Our Head of Wills & Probate.

Linda has been working in the legal sector since 1988 meaning she has 20 years experience. She qualified as a Solicitor in July 2001.

Linda | Head of Wills & Probate


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