Uncontested Probate Fees Guide

We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to provide pricing information to potential clients in relation to certain types of work. Our fees for dealing with Probate matters vary depending upon particular features of individual cases and for this reason, we will here give information about how our costs in relation to Probate work are calculated to assist you. However, we encourage our clients to contact us for more detailed information based on their specific situation and not to base any decision solely on price. We offer clear communication and easy access to our team by phone, email or in person, depending on your preferences and will keep you informed at every stage.

Probate Stages

The administration of the estate of someone who has died (often called “Probate” although, in fact, this only refers to a small portion of the work involved) is a complex area of work and no two cases are the same. Broadly speaking, the administration of an estate will often break down into four distinct stages, some of which may overlap.


The initial process, leading from the death of an individual up to the application for a Grant of Probate to their Will, will involve establishing details of the assets of their estate and thereafter obtaining valuations of those assets and, where appropriate, completing an Inheritance Tax return and paying any Inheritance Tax that may be due on the estate before the application for the Grant of Probate may be made, and thereafter making the application itself.

Gathering up the assets of the estate

The immediate “post-Grant” work will involve registering the Grant of Probate once it has been issued by the Court with the various asset holders and cashing in the assets of the estate and gathering them together, bank accounts, shareholdings and so on. At this stage, if there is a house or flat in the estate, then, if it has not already been placed on the market, it will be presumably placed on the market and hopefully sold.

Tax and other administrative matters

Whilst the assets of the estate are being gathered in, the Executors will need to pay the debts of the estate and deal with various administrative matters, in particular liaising with HMRC in relation to the Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and, if appropriate, Inheritance Tax affairs of the estate. In complex cases, this stage of the work in the administration of an estate can take quite a considerable time and will extend beyond the period of time spent gathering the assets.

Winding up and distribution

Once all of the assets of the estate have been gathered (stage 2) and the liabilities and tax affairs resolved (stage 3), then the Executors can move forward to stage 4, the winding up and distribution of the estate. Principally this will engage preparing Accounts of the estate showing the receipt of assets and how they have been dealt with and how they are represented, whether in cash or in stocks and shares or whatever other assets may still be held by the Executors at the time they are ready to distribute the estate. The Estate Accounts will also show how the various beneficiaries of the estate (whether under the deceased’s Will or, if there was no Will, under the rules of intestacy which govern who inherits what when that person dies without making a Will) are to receive in respect of their shares of the estate and, depending on the number of beneficiaries and the complexity of the deceased person’s estate, this distribution stage of the estate could be quite complex or, for example, if there is a single beneficiary and relatively few assets, it could be very straight forward. An additional complexity might be if one beneficiary wanted to receive an asset from the estate (for example stocks and shares or a property) and other beneficiaries would need to be compensated in cash value terms from other assets within the estate so as to ensure that the terms of the Will are honoured and no-one is disadvantaged.

How do we charge?

The above is merely an outline of the sort of issues that arise during the course of the administration of an estate and, as the work involved can vary greatly from one case to another depending upon a great many factors, it is not possible to give any fixed costs for a “standard” estate, however, the following is intended to be a guide to assist you.

For illustration purposes, we have outlined our estimate of the total costs for assisting with the full administration of uncontested estates with all assets in the UK.

If we are instructed to deal with stage 1 (application for Probate) alone, and the estate is straightforward (for example consists merely of money held at the bank and/or a property and there is no Inheritance Tax to be paid) then our fees should be in the region of £2000 – £2200 + VAT reflecting 5 hours work by a solicitor or principal at an average charge rate of £360 – £450 + VAT per hour.

In a very straightforward case, stage 2 (gathering in the assets) would be in the region of £2880 – £4500 + VAT on the basis that it might involve up to 8-10 hours of work at a charge rate of £360 – £450 +VAT per hour for a solicitor or principal. This fee could be significantly higher in more complex estates, rising to perhaps £9000 + VAT based on 20 hours.

So far as stage 3 is concerned, then if the tax affairs of the estate are very straightforward (and in particular if there is no Inheritance Tax to pay) this could be undertaken within 8-10 hours of work at £360 – £450 + VAT per hour by a solicitor or principal. In more complex cases, especially where Inheritance Tax is payable and in particular where negotiations need to be entered into with HMRC concerning Inheritance Tax, perhaps in connection with the valuation of assets or disputes about the availability of reliefs, and so on, stage 3 could be very involved indeed and might, in a very complex case, involve up to 75 hours time at £360 – £450 + VAT per hour for a solicitor or principal, although this would be exceptional and most cases would be at the lower end of the spectrum.

So far as stage 4 is concerned, then much will depend upon the size and complexity of the estate. In a very straightforward estate, the preparation of simple cash accounts and distributing the estate to a single beneficiary should not take more than 6-8 hours at £360 – £450 + VAT per hour for a solicitor or Principal. In more complex estates involving substantial assets and a large number of beneficiaries and possibly involving the appropriation of assets, then significantly more time involvement would be required, possibly up to as much as 30 hours at £360 – £450 + VAT per hour for a solicitor or Principal in the most complex estates, although the majority of cases should be less than this.


During the course of the administration of an estate, various fees may be payable on your behalf (known as disbursements). There may be professional valuation fees – for chattels and property – but these will vary depending on the value of the estate. Some commonly incurred expenses are as follows:

  • Probate Registry fee (for issuing the Grant) £155.00 (No VAT) plus £1.50 for each Court sealed copy. *
  • Commissioner’s fee £5.00 per Applicant (no VAT) Plus £2.00 per exhibit (no VAT).
  • Unclaimed Assets Register Search fee £25 (including VAT).
  • Bankruptcy Searches against each beneficiary prior to a payment being made to them £2.40 per name searched (including VAT).
  • Statutory Advertisements (based on adverts being placed in the London Gazette and one local paper) £200 – £264 (including VAT). **
  • Office copy entries £4 per property (including VAT) without title plan and £6 with title plan.
  • Certainty Will search (if required) £114 (including VAT).

* The Probate application fee is set to rise substantially. The date of the rise is not yet known.

** This fee is an estimate as the price varies depending on the publication used.