In this guide we are going to take a look at Probate Questions and Answers, Probate Costs and how they are calculated when applying for Probate. Firstly, we should break probate fees down into two categories. Legal Fees and application or disbursement fees
Probate Disbursement Costs
A disbursement or application fee is a cost associated with the application process itself. The first fee you have to take into account is the probate application fee. This fee is paid to the registry office when the probate application is made, it is currently £215.00 for a personal application. This fee is reduced when making an application via a probate solicitor as the probate office requires less time to handle the application.
Duplicate Grant of Probate or Second Grant Probate Fee. This is the cost of obtaining a second grant of probate in respect of the initial application for the same deceased person.
Advertisement Fees will be charged if the solicitor feels they need to place an advert in the London Gazette or Local Paper. Normally costing around £50 -£100 the adverts ensure that the solicitor has given opportunity to relatives, Businesses and Banks to come forward and make a claim on the estate.
Probate valuation fees normally associated with specific assets will depend on the asset type. The most common are stocks and share valuations. The probate office will require a certified valuation for shares, and this will normally be provided by a financial adviser who will charge for their valuation.
You should also take into account costs associated with the management of any property owned by the deceased, these cold be utility and maintenance bills, insurance for the property whilst its empty and the cost of probate surveys for valuing the property.
Probate Costs for Legal Work
This is the Probate Fee charged by the solicitor for doing the probate work. Charging models vary from solicitor to solicitor and will differ between organisations. As you do not need to be a solicitor to conduct probate there are various routes to achieving a grant of probate. There are probate practitioners who are not regulated but consider themselves qualified to conduct probate, these are often experienced will writers or financial advisers. There are probate brands that subcontract their probate work to either practitioners or advisers. There are probate brokers who place work with a preferred panel of practitioners, advisers or solicitors. Final Duties only place work with Solicitors that are regulated by the Law Society or Solicitors Regulatory Authority and have to meet a specific code of conduct. There are also banks who often offer free Wills and store them for customers so that when they die the bank gets a chance to offer its own probate service. When instructing any of these organisations to complete probate on your behalf, it’s important to read the terms and conditions that they supply in order to get a good understanding of all the probate fees you are likely to be charged.
Final Duties charge fixed cost probate fees. This means we conduct a fact find and provide a probate quote based on our conversation. This enables us to avoid charging based on a percentage of the estate or by an hourly rate model. Hourly rate and percentage models can be expensive if you have a complex estate or an estate of modest value. Probate Fees on an estate with a modest value of £180,000 could be as high a 3% or £5400.00.
If you would like to get an understanding of your probate fees why not get a free no obligation probate quote?