What Are the Average Probate Fees?
If you’re trying to decide whether to appoint someone to deal with probate on your behalf, you may be wondering what the average probate fees are. That way at least you will have some idea of the cost, before you begin.
Obviously, averages can be misleading and the sum you pay will depend upon the size of the estate and how complicated the deceased’s financial affairs are. But it is still useful to have some ballpark figures, so that you know what you are up against.
According to a survey by Sun Life the average probate fees in 2011 were £2292 and the Legal Services Consumer Panel stated that the average minimum fees on an estate valued at £270,000 is £5199.
Of course these are just average figures but they do give you some idea of what fees you might face. And while you may not want to think about legal fees when you are grieving the death of a loved one, it is important that you have at least some idea of the costs involved.
But just knowing these average figures does not take away the worry of probate fees. If you appoint a solicitor to deal with probate on your behalf, it is unlikely that you will know how much the final costs are until the process is complete. They usually charge a percentage of the estate, fixed costs for each activity they carry out, or an hourly rate.
The trouble is, without knowing exactly how much work needs to be carried out, it is impossible to know what your solicitor is going to charge you in advance. Hourly rates can soon mount up, with many solicitors charging as much as £350 per hour for dealing with probate. And if you are paying per activity, a simple letter could cost you as much as £100 and a phone call £30. If the financial institutions you are dealing with are not on the ball, and don’t respond to letters promptly, the probate fees could mount up incredibly quickly.
According to an article in the Guardian, the cost of dying had risen to £7248 in 2011. Worrying about probate fees on top of other costs, such as funeral expenses is not something you want to be faced with while you are dealing with the death of a loved one. That is why so many people now opt to use a fixed fee probate service. That way they have the piece of mind of knowing how much probate fees are going to be in advance.