Our Probate department is supervised by Christine Gallyer, a solicitor since 1981

Below are the steps in a typical simple probate transaction

You'll need a copy of the death certificate for each of the deceased's assets (eg, each bank accounts, savings accounts, shares etc). Before you can start the probate process, you will need to register the death. You will need to go to the register office usually within 5 days of the death. You can read more on the government website here - https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death.

You will need to find out if the deceased left a will as soon as possible as it may have other instructions such as funeral plans. If you don't have a will yourself and want one we can prepare one for you.

On notifying us of the death we will send you a client care information letter and a request to let us have evidence of your ID. You will need to give us copies of the death certificate and details of all the deceased’s assets and liabilities.

We will notify banks, financial institutions and utility providers of the death and ask them to freeze any accounts as of the date of death. We will write to asset holders asking them to provide a valuation of any assets the deceased held with them and their value as at the date of death so that the estate may be valued for tax purposes.

When valuing the estate we will take in to account banks, financial institutions, investments (stocks and shares etc), pensions payable on death, property and contents of home, personal items, life insurance, trusts, loans etc.

If the estate is below the inheritance tax threshold (£325,000) we will prepare IHT 205 forms for the executors to sign so they may be submitted to HMRC. If the estate is above the inheritance tax threshold we will prepare and IHT 400 and accompanying schedules for the executors to sign so they may be submitted to HMRC.

Once tax has been paid on the estate, we will prepare the legal statement for executors to sign and we will submit the probate application with the probate registry. What kind of application is submitted depends on whether a valid will has been left.

Once a grant has been granted we will collect and gather all of the assets of the deceased’s estate and pay any bills or liabilities.

We will advertise in the Gazette and a local newspaper to ensure the executors are not liable under the Trustee Act 1925 should someone came forward later that the executors did not know about at the time of the notice. The executors must wait at least two months and one day from the date of the advertisement before the estate can be distributed.

We will then be able to distribute the remainder of the estate accurately to the beneficiaries according to the deceased’s will.

If deceased died without a will (intestate), the assets are distributed under the rules of intestacy, however the beneficiaries can agree among themselves to redistribute it in any way they wish. The rules around intestacy can be complex dependant on the surviving relatives and the amount involved.

Beneficiaries and trustees may wish to rearrange dispositions of property in an estate to redirect benefits to other members of the family who are less well off or to save tax. We can prepare post death variations to the will to utilise the deceased’s nil rate band.

Sample Costs

Our charges are based on the time spent dealing with a matter. Time spent will include meetings with beneficiaries and perhaps others; considering, preparing and working on papers; correspondence and making and receiving telephone calls. In cases where the partners in this firm are executors there are increased responsibilities and time needs to be spent at the home of the deceased establishing the extent of assets and arranging for valuations of personal possessions.

We will charge £225 for each hour of solicitor work carried out. Routine letters sent and received and routine telephone calls made and received will be charged in units of 1/10 of an hour. Other letters and calls will be charged for on a time basis.

We will add VAT to our charge at the rate that applies when the work is done. At present VAT is 20%

There will be further charges to the estate for the following items:-


In addition, there is a value element part based on the value of the estate as recommended by the Law Society and is calculated as follows:-


These percentages are merely a guide as recommended by the Law Society and in all cases we will consider what is appropriate and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the estate in assessing what percentage, if any, should be charged.

Here are the costs including expenses (“disbursements”) that may be incurred in a typical probate for a simple estate worth £600,000. It will of course depend on the complexity of the estate, the number of assets and liabilities of the deceased and the number of beneficiaries.


78 untimed letters/emails received @ £22.50 plus VAT per item



76 untimed letters/emails sent @ £22.50 plus VAT per item



3 untimed telephone calls @ £22.50 plus VAT per item



Timed telephone calls – 3 hours @ £225.00 plus VAT per hour


Time spent in attendances, perusals, preparation and time spent on the file generally – 24 hours @ £225.00 plus VAT per hour



VAT on probate legal fees



Probate Registry fee to include sealed copies



Statutory Trustee adverts placed in Gazette & local newspaper



Oath fees


Bankruptcy searches


Search of unclaimed assets register


0.5% of gross value of property


Sale of property legal fees





Timing. This usually depends on the following factors:

If the deceased left a will.

How quickly institutions respond to requests for information. Sometimes this can take many weeks.

HMRC can take up to two months before issuing an IHT clearance certificate

How long it takes to sell assets including the deceased’s residence

The probate registry currently takes approximately 8 weeks before granting a grant of probate

How quickly institutions close the deceased’s accounts and send the money to be distributed

Typically, after death, the process will take on average between 9 months and a year. However, depending on the complexity of the estate this can take longer.