Wills, Probate and Estate Administration Work Charges

We pride ourselves on our solicitors’ down to earth, friendly, compassionate and pragmatic approach. We receive the vast amount of our Probate work through recommendations from previous clients. Excellent client care and Service is our upmost priority. Your matter will be handled from start to finish by either a Partner of our firm or a qualified Solicitor designated to your case. The team is overseen by Tracy Murgatroyd, one of our Partners.

The Team comprises:-

  • Tracy Murgatroyd is a Partner & Solicitor and Head of Private Client who qualified in 2014. Tracy is also a member of Solicitors for the Elderly. Tracy charges £275 per hour plus VAT (20%).
  • Joanne John is a Solicitor who qualified in 2005. Joanne charges £275 per hour plus VAT (20%).
  • Godfrey Newman is a Partner & Solicitor who qualified in 1979. Godfrey charges £275 per hour plus VAT (20%).
  • David Durn is a Partner & Solicitor who qualified in 1999. David charges £275 per hour plus VAT (20%).
  • Jess Ahmed is a Paralegal who is very experienced in this area of law. She assists Tracy, Jo and David. Jess charges £160 per hour plus VAT (20%).
  • Emma Luff is a Paralegal who is very experienced in this area of law. She assists Tracy, Jo and David Emma charges £160 per hour plus VAT (20%).

Probate matters can vary greatly in terms of the size and extent of the estate and issues involved. Some matters may only have one Executor and one beneficiary for example and there may be no inheritance tax to pay, whilst another may involve the Partners of our firm as Executors with multiple beneficiaries and multiple properties to sell and a significant tax liability. It is therefore important at the outset that we meet with you and assess the size of the estate as best we can and discuss with you which of the following charging structures are appropriate for your individual case. We will then follow up the meeting, by sending out our client care letter, charging information and a cost estimate, so that our clients are aware of what their matter is likely to cost.

Three Charging options for Probate matters

Our most commonly used charging structure is based on the Law Society’s Guide for charging in non-contentious matters and takes into account complexity, skill, documents required, risk factors and the expenses incurred which are normally reflected in an hourly rate.

Charges for non-contentious probate work are therefore most often based on a part-time and part-value basis.

Value Element

In line with the Law Society guidelines, therefore, in probate matters where a Partner of Allsop Durn LLP is an Executor, the following percentages are applied:

Gross value of main residence: 0.75%*

Gross value of the rest of the estate: 1.5%*

Vat is charged on the value element at Standard Rate (currently 20%)

Time Element
In addition to the value element, our firm’s hourly charging rates are payable. These are £275 per hour plus VAT (20%) for the Partners and Solicitors and £160 per hour plus VAT (20%) for unqualified paralegals who assist in the team.

  • Hourly charging rate only
    In certain cases, particularly where there is a high level of complexity, but relatively low value estate or in cases where the client only wants our firm to undertake smaller discreet elements of work – we would generally charge purely on a time-spent basis in which case the fees will be based on the hourly rate of £275.00 plus VAT (20%).
  • Fixed Value percentage of the estate only (not time factored)
    In limited circumstances and depending on the extent of the work required and size and complexity of the estate, we can discuss with you, if appropriate, at our initial meeting, a fixed fee arrangement based on a flat percentage of the total gross value of the estate for example 2% plus VAT (20%).

The fees referred to in this section include the following services:

  • Identifying the Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries
  • Ascertaining the extent of the assets and liabilities
  • Advising on protection and insurance of assets post-death
  • Completing the relevant IHT forms and advising on potential reliefs available
  • Preparing application for Probate including calculation of Inheritance Tax
  • Liaising with asset holders
  • Obtaining Grant of Probate and completing all tax formalities with HMRC
  • Day to day administration of the estate
  • Gathering in assets and arranging disposals where necessary
  • Preparing, agreeing and distributing full estate accounts
  • Paying legacies and distributing net estates to beneficiaries
  • Advising executors regarding potential claims

Disbursements (Third party expenses)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf. Your solicitor will always notify you before they incur significant disbursement costs.

Examples include:-

  • HMCTS application fee – currently £273.00 plus £1.50 per Grant copy (VAT Exempt)
  • Land Registry Office Copy Entry fees – £3.00 plus VAT (20%)
  • Land Registry fees – dependant on action and value needed (VAT Exempt)
  • Trustee Act Notice for potential creditors from £200.00-£400.00 plus VAT (20%)
  • Share valuations depending on size of shareholding (Variable).
  • Accountants fees are sometimes required to calculate capital gains and income tax liability of the estate.

Likely Timescales

Typically, it takes between 4-12 months to obtain a Grant of Probate and administer an estate. The length of time is dependent on a number of factors, the complexity, size and extent of the assets, tax issues involved, number and whereabouts of beneficiaries etc. Sometimes it can take several years in larger, more complex estates. We will always keep executors updated and advise if any complicating factors arise.