Disbursements are simply extra charges, they are normally the costs incurred by a company to handle a case. For example, a conveyancer will charge a fee, plus disbursements – these are normally the charges to carry out property searches and obtain certificates etc. In the case of probate fees, disbursements could be newspaper notices, valuing or disposing of estate assets.
When looking for a probate company and considering quotes is important to be aware that even a company who offers a fixed fee, will probably make extra charges. You need to be sure of exactly what the service includes. Here are some examples of services which may incur extra charges:
Find out more about the cost of probate
If the net estate value is over £5,000, you’ll also need to factor in Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) fees. For estates valued over this amount, a fee £105 applies. Plus, HMCTS make charges for every official, sealed copy of the grant of probate or letters of administration you require. They are £1 each but you’ll be charged more if you need extra copies after the grant has been issued.
It’s important to scrutinise these terms because some companies will add on extras for professional time, phone-calls, stationary, faxing, emailing. Here are some real life examples;
10 minute telephone call with client
Receiving an email instruction
Sending a fax
Replying to query by letter
30 minute consultation with client
As executor, you are responsible for managing the estate and may be being blamed by beneficiaries for spiralling legal costs which eat into their inheritance. It’s important to read all small print and make sure the probate fees you’ve been quoted are genuine, without any extras. This way, you won’t end up with a shock when you receive the final bill.