Wills and Probate Services

When someone sadly passes away, it is generally necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate for the Executors to deal with the deceased persons’ Estate. Many people choose to instruct a firm of Solicitors to deal with this for them.

Not all people who pass away have a valid Will at the time of their death. A similar type of document still needs to be issued by the Probate Registry, but technically called a Grant of Letters of Administration.

However, the basic principles are broadly similar and many Solicitors charge a percentage of the value of the Estate in accordance with Law Society regulations. They may also charge for part of the time expended in dealing with the matter for you.

At Stuart Fantham & Company, we do not charge a percentage of the value of the Estate.

Our present fee structure for Probate type matters is purely based on the professional time we as a firm will spend on this matter for you. Our fees are based on our current hourly rate and please remember that VAT at the prevailing rate must always be added.

As we are unique individuals, it is difficult to predict on a page such as this what work might be involved in acting for you in obtaining a Grant of Probate. The time we spend on a particular Probate matter will very much depend on how much time you ask us to devote to your instructions, whether you undertake some of the work yourself and the number and details of the assets held by the deceased person. We will happily provide you with a Law Society Questionnaire as a starting point to help us both understand the nature of the deceased’s Estate and then aim to provide you with a more specific anticipated breakdown of the work and hence cost which we expect to undertake.

As indicated, we will only charge you for the time expended by the firm as we think that is the only fair way to represent you.

Please remember there may be payments we make to third parties during the course of your instructions. Whilst this may include relatively modest sums such as recorded delivery charges, you should bear in mind;

1. It will be necessary for the Executor of the deceased’s Estate to swear an Oath in front of an independent Solicitor. The Solicitor in question is entitled to charge £5 to swear the Oath with £2 for each exhibit (such as a Will, Codicil, etc).

2. The Probate Registry charge a fee (currently £155) to consider and issue a Grant of Probate. Extra copies of the Grant cost just 50p each.

Further details of the fees and processes involved in dealing with HM Courts and Tribunal Service and the Probate Registry appear on the www.gov.uk website.

It is important to note that there are changes on the horizon for both the Probate fees payable to HM Courts and Tribunal Service as well as the process by which an application for the Grant of Probate is made which may involve dispensing with the need for the Oath referred to above.