Wills and probate prices

OUR PRICES – WILLS AND LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY


We believe in being open about prices and giving you price certainty with fixed fee options.

You ought to know exactly what our price includes, so we have itemised the options available for you.  You can decide which options are right for you and know the total amount you will pay both to howell jones and to others.

The prices set out below will, in most cases, be the amount you pay. However, there may be occasions where your circumstances are more complicated and we may have to agree a different price with you.

WILLS

Our prices:

A simple Will for one person starts at £350+VAT

 A pair of simple mirror image Wills starts at £550+VAT

 This includes: 

  • an initial meeting (which typically lasts no longer than one hour) to discuss your circumstances, both family and financial, and your wishes.

  • clear and comprehensive advice in plain English on the best structure for your Wills including but not limited to guardianship provisions, funeral wishes, gift of personal possessions and money and your beneficiaries.

  • Preparing the draft Will for you to review. If changes need to be made, we can discuss these and then prepare the final Will.

  • A second meeting to sign the Will with the team at howell jones acting as your witnesses

  • Free safe storage of your Will and we will provide you with a copy of the signed Wills for records. 

  • Free registration of your Will with Certainty, a National Will Register.  The registration with Certainty records the existence of your Will and the location of it but the contents of your Will are not disclosed.  That way, if your copy Will is lost, misplaced or forgotten over the passage of time, the location of it can be identified and your wishes carried out.

Other costs:

Copies of the deeds to your property. These cost £3 per property (no VAT).


LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY (LPAS)

Our prices:

Single person

One LPA        £600+VAT

Two LPAs       £900+VAT


Couple

One LPA each         £900+VAT

Two LPAs each         £1300+VAT


This includes:

  • an initial meeting (which typically lasts no longer than one hour) to discuss your circumstances and your wishes.

  • clear and comprehensive advice in plain English on the best approach for your LPA including but not limited to number of attorneys, how they should act, whether anyone should be notified and any preferences or instructions you wish to leave them.

  • preparing the draft LPA for you to review. If changes need to be made, we can discuss these and then prepare the final LPA.

  • a second meeting to sign the LPA and witness your signature.

  • acting as certificate provider.  In the majority of cases, a lawyer in the Wills and Probate team can sign as the “certificate provider”.  A certificate provider must sign the LPA to confirm they have discussed the LPA with you on your own, that you understand what the LPA does and that you have not been pressured into making the LPA.

  • Arranging for your attorneys to sign the LPA.

  • Completing the registration forms.

  • Submitting the LPA to the OPG for registration.

  • Service of Notices, if required.

  • Free safe storage of your LPA once registered and we will provide you with a copy of the signed and registered LPA for records. 

Other costs:

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) charges a fee to register your LPA.  This fee is £82 (no VAT) per LPA. 

 

OUR PRICES - PROBATE


We believe in being open about prices and giving you price certainty with fixed fee options. We have itemised the options available for you and you can decide which option is right for you. 

FIXED FEE OPTIONS

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Probate on your behalf.   In this section we set out our fixed fee prices.

Our price:

Simple estate

Complex estate

£1500 + VAT (£1800)

£2500 + VAT (£3000)

This includes:

 

1.      a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter

2.      an initial meeting (which typically lasts no longer than one hour)

o  to identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries

o  accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require

o  advising on the probate process

o  advising the executors or administrators on their duties and responsibilities

o  advising on the information required to obtain Probate to enable you to prepare a list of the assets and liabilities and their values.

3.      reviewing and checking that the information provided to us is accurate and in accordance HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules.

4.      completing the relevant Inheritance Tax forms (see below)

5.      ensuring that the correct Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemptions and reliefs are claimed.

6.      drafting a legal oath/statement of truth for you to swear.

7.      making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.

8.      obtaining the Probate and sending the Probate to you.

9.      free safe storage of the original Probate.

 

Simple estate

Complex estate

Øcompleting forms IHT205 (and IHT217 if needed)

Øcompleting forms IHT400 and all relevant schedules

Øobtaining an IHT reference from HMRC

Øcalculating the IHT due on the estate

Øpreparing the IHT payment forms

Øliaising with banks to arrange payment of the IHT due on submission of the IHT Tax Return to HMRC

Øobtaining receipted Probate Summary from HMRC

Other costs:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.  These include:

Disbursement

Price

Probate Court Fee

£155 with additional copies charged at 50p per copy (no VAT)

Swearing the oath/statement of truth

£5 plus £2 for the Will (and a further £2 for each codicil)(no VAT)

Copies of the deeds to the deceased’s property

£3 per property (no VAT)

 

Protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors

Approximately £200+VAT

Our timescales:

Simple estate

Complex estate

From receipt of the list of the assets and liabilities and their values, it will take us approximately 2 weeks to complete stages 3 to 7.

 

The Probate Court takes on average 2 weeks to issue the Probate.

From receipt of the list of the assets and liabilities and their values, it will take us 3 to 6 weeks to complete stages 3 to 4.

 

HMRC takes on average 4 weeks to return the receipted Probate Summary.

 

The Probate Court takes on average 2 weeks to issue the Probate.

 

The Government is planning rises in probate fees according to the value of the estate. The draft legislation has not yet been made law but the changes are expected to come in around April 2019. The proposed probate application fees are as follows:

 

Value of estate

Proposed fee

(a) exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000;

£250

(b) exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000;

£750

(c exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1,000,000;

£2,500

(d) exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000;

£4,000

(f) exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000;

£5,000

(g) exceeds £2,000,000

£6,000

  

COMPLETE SERVICE

The fixed fee service is not for everyone. Bereavement can be an emotionally traumatic experience and this can make dealing with the administration of the estate a daunting prospect.  Even if you are not directly affected by the death, you may still want a helping hand through the whole administration process. We can offer this help through our complete service where we will deal with every aspect of the estate from beginning to end.

Every estate is different and our price will be bespoke to your matter.  We will take in to account the information available at the outset to provide you with an estimate.  We do understand that sometimes it is difficult to provide us with all of the information at the outset and it’s sometimes difficult to foresee all the issues that may arise and so we will make sure that if such issues arise we will keep you updated with costs information periodically.

Our prices:

Our costs are based partly on the value of the estate and partly on the time spent dealing with the matter.  

The time element is based on the time spent by the solicitor on the particular matter.  Our time is normally charged at the rates set out in the table below, plus VAT and typically can range from £3000 to £20000 but for a large and/or complex estate, the time charge can be higher.

Position

Current hourly rate

Trainee solicitor

£180 - £200

Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive

With up to four years’ post qualification experience

£220 - £240

Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive

With more than four years’ post qualification experience

£240 - £260

Senior Solicitor

£260 - £280

Partner

£260 - £300


For the value element, the starting point is 1% of the gross estate where Howell Jones LLP are not Executors, or 1.5% where any partners or members of the firm are Executors.  There are some further modifications;

  1. In calculating the gross estate, the value of the deceased’s interest in his or her residence is halved.

  1. In calculating the gross estate, some assets, for example a share in a property passing by survivorship, may be excluded from this charge.  

The value element reflects the importance of the matter and consequently the responsibility imposed on the firm, and other factors such as the complexity of the matter and the skill involved.

The Probate Stages:

The stages and processes which need to be completed in order to administer the estate are set out as follows:

Stage 1                      

Meeting with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter:

    • to identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries

    • accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require

    • advising on the probate process

    • advising the executors or administrators on their duties and responsibilities

    • advising on the information required to obtain Probate

    • initial correspondence to investigate and obtain various valuations for all assets and liabilities.

    • prepare Schedule of Assets and Liabilities 

Stage 2                      

  • Prepare relevant Inheritance Tax (IHT) forms and all relevant schedules
  • Obtaining an IHT reference from HMRC where necessary
  • Calculating the IHT due on the estate and ensuring that the correct Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemptions and reliefs are claimed
  • Preparing the IHT payment forms where necessary and liaising with banks to arrange payment of the IHT due on submission of the IHT Tax Return to HMRC
  • obtaining receipted Probate Summary from HMRC


Stage 3                     

  • Drafting statement of truth for you to swear 
  • Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
  • Obtaining the Probate  

 

Stage 4                      

  • Collect in all assets.
  • Pay all known liabilities.
  • Advertise for creditors.
  • Liaise with property solicitors regarding the sale of any property* 
  • Finalise IHT 
  • Prepare and finalise Income Tax to date of death
  • Prepare and finalise Tax Returns for the period of administration
  • Prepare and finalise Capital Gains Tax
  • Obtain HMRC clearance for all taxes 
  • Carry out bankruptcy and ID checks on all beneficiaries
  • Pay legacies
  • Deal with any transfer assets to beneficiaries named in the Will
  • Make interim distributions
  • Obtain receipts

*conveyancing costs are not included


Stage 5                     

  • Finalise Estate Accounts
  • Send signed Estate Accounts to residuary beneficiaries
  • Prepare R185 tax certificates 
  • Distribute the estate
  • Obtain receipts

 

Other costs:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.  These include:

Disbursement

Price

Probate Court Fee

£155 with additional copies charged at 50p per copy (no VAT)

Swearing the Oath

£5 plus £2 for the Will (and a further £2 for each codicil)(no VAT)

Copies of the deeds to the deceased’s property

£3 per property (no VAT)

 

Protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors

Approximately £200+VAT

 

The Government is planning rises in probate fees according to the value of the estate. The draft legislation has not yet been made law but the changes are expected to come in around April 2019. The proposed probate application fees are as follows:

 

Value of estate

Proposed fee

(a) exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000;

£250

(b) exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000;

£750

(c exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1,000,000;

£2,500

(d) exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000;

£4,000

(f) exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000;

£5,000

(g) exceeds £2,000,000

£6,000

 

 Our timescales:

 

On average a taxable estate takes about a year to complete but there are some which complete in a much shorter timescale and some which may take longer.