Elements that make up Probate Costs
The application for the Grant of Probate is a requirement on any estate which is valued over £5,000. The basic fee, payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service is £105. Special applications for a duplicate, second or subsequent grant will cost £20. This is the same price as entering a Caveat, or depositing a will for safe custody with the probate registry.
As with everything else, the costs involved in probate have risen. The most recent revision occurred in April 2011, based on the rate of inflation there was an increase of around 20%. Further information on probate costs can be obtained from the directgov website. This breakdown is very useful for anyone trying to wade through an itemised bill from a solicitor, or bank.
Although the costs of these elements, which are paid to the probate registry, are generally quite basic, the process involved is time consuming. This will drive prices up, particularly if you are using a solicitor and paying an hourly rate.
Hourly charges range from £100 to around £350, plus VAT. A Legal Services Board report in July 2011 revealed that the average UK rate was £177 per hour. The average length of time billed for estate administration was 25 hours, which totals £5310 inc. VAT @ 20%.
This is relatively cheap compared with banks and solicitors who charge a fee based on the estate value. This is quoted as a percentage and varies between 1% (Saga), up to 4.5% (Barclays). It is considered an unfair way of pricing as the amount the estate is worth does not bear much relevance as to the amount of work involved.
If you would like to get further information on probate costs you can call us free on 0800 612 6105. Lines are open until 10pm, 7 days a week.