Form PA3 is a leaflet detailing the fees you will have to pay as part of the probate process in England and Wales. Fees are paid to HM Courts & Tribunals Service who administers applications for Grant of Representation.
What will I have to Pay?
Administration Fee - Probate pa3 states that if the net estate value is under £5,000, there is no fee. In all cases where the net estate value is over £5,000, a fee of £105 is applicable. When you apply, you'll have to enclose a cheque which covers this amount (if applicable) and any extras detailed below.
Official Copies - There are extra charges made depending on how many sealed copies of the Grant of Representation you need. Before you complete Probate Form PA1; the application form, you'll need to calculate how many copies you wish to order. This will depend on how many financial institutions you have to approach. Bank and Building Societies will not accept photocopies and will not release assets without an official copy. As stated in the PA3 form, copies cost £1 each. Pay particular attention to this as if you apply for copies after the grant has been issued, you'll be charged £6 for the first and £1 thereafter.
Is there any other Expenditure?
The charges stipulated in PA3 are the Government administration fees. Should you wish, you can pay a solicitor to take care of the application on your behalf.This is not a necessity; you can opt to independently apply for probate. In which case you'll complete and send in all the required paper-work yourself. If you need any help with this, for a small fee, we offer downloadable packages that include everything you need to know and the necessary forms. See DIY probate for more information.
If you're case is relatively straightforward, a will is available and the estate is expected, i.e. no inheritance tax will be due, there is no reason why you can't do it yourself. Many people still choose a have a professional take care of the legalities for them as they simply do not want the hassle of all the paperwork, especially at such a stressful time.
How are Legal Fees Calculated?
Many banks and solicitors will charge a percentage based on the value of the estate, normally 1-5% which can be very costly indeed. This is controversial as the amount of work involved is actually determined by how many beneficiaries and financial institutions, not how much money is involved. Unfortunately, Government Forms PA3, PA1, PA2 etc. do not warm you about this.
If you decide to elect a professional to take care of the probate process, find a company that offers a fixed fee agreed in advance, don't simply give them carte blanche to act as they wish with your money. Hourly rates, charges for phone-calls, letters and emails all add up.
IWC offer a low cost, fixed fee probate service, Nationwide. We believe in charging a fair price and calculate our fees based on the amount of work we actually have to undertake. Call us for a free quote on 0800 612 6105 and let a professionally qualified legal representative take care of it for you. If you have any questions about the charges stipulated in the PA3 form, feel free to call us on the same number for free help and advice.