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"Probate" Stamp; Our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster discuss the typical costs involved with Probate and the administration of estates.
Probate, the legal process of administering a deceased person's estate, involves various costs that can change depending on the complexity and size of the estate. Our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster advise our clients of the following anticipated fees, for estates in England and Wales: 

Probate Fees 

The Probate Registry charges a fee for granting probate. As of Jan 2024, if the estate is worth less than £5,000, the Probate Registry do not charge a fee for an application for Probate. If the value of the estate is over this, the fee is a flat rate of £273, plus an additional £1.50 if additional copies of the Probate are required. However, our Probate Solicitors are aware that, as of 1 May, this fee will be increasing to £300.  
Historically, like Land Registry fees, the probate application fees were staggered, depending on the value of the estate being administered. The current approach is intended to standardise the process for all, and help to simply cover the costs of the administration work required for the Probate Registry to process the application. 

Legal Fees 

If you instruct a solicitor to handle the probate process, their fees can vary widely. Solicitors may charge a flat fee, hourly rates, or a percentage of the estate's value. Our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster offer both hourly rates and fixed fees, with the fixed fee offered depending on the size of the estate. A typical estate can cost around £1,000 to £5,000, which is usually around 1% of an estate’s value, much less than many competitors charge. You can contact our team for a more accurate estimate, here, or complete our contact us form, below, for a call back within one working hour. 
"probate" stamp; our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster will give you a callback within one working hour, if you complete the contact us form here.

Contact our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster 

Valuation Fees 

You may need to pay for professional valuations of property, investments, and other assets in the estate. If a full inheritance tax account needs to be submitted, for example if the estate is liable to pay inheritance tax, then a valuation of the property must be carried out by a Chartered Surveyor. If the estate is non-taxable, our Probate Solicitors may recommend arranging for three independent estate agents to value the property. 

Inheritance Tax (IHT) 

If the estate's value exceeds the IHT threshold, tax will be due. The rate and threshold can vary, so it's crucial to check the current rules. Some estates may qualify for reduced rates or exemptions. As an example, as of January 2024, the Nil Rate Band (tax-free) amount is £325,000, with an additional £175,000 potentially being available if the estate qualifies for Residence Nil Rate Band. However, gifts made during the deceased’s lifetime, and other factors, can impact the availability of these tax-free amounts. You should speak to qualified Probate Solicitors to determine whether tax is payable in the estate. 

Other Costs 

These can include bank charges for closing accounts, postage, and potential costs for selling or transferring assets. Usually, as an example, our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster find that transferring stock or shares attracts a fee, which is generally a flat fee or a percentage, with a minimum charge applicable. 

Executor's Expenses 

If the executor incurs costs while administering the estate, they are usually reimbursed from the estate's funds. These can include obtaining death certificates, costs of clearing the property, house repairs that are vital to keep the property in a saleable condition, insurance for the property. 
It's important to note that probate costs can be reduced in some cases. For example, if the estate is small and straightforward, the executor might be able to handle the process without a solicitor, reducing legal fees. Additionally, careful estate planning can minimise IHT liabilities. However, whatever the value of the estate, our Probate Solicitors would always advise that you seek legal advice initially to discuss the steps involved. Our team understand that not all estates require full legal assistance with everything, and therefore offer a fixed-fee consultation of £125.00 plus VAT, to allow executors to discuss the Will, what action they need to take, and how we can help. 
The probate process can be complex and time-consuming, and the costs can add up quickly. Beneficiaries should be prepared for these expenses and understand that these will be paid out of the estate before any distributions are made. It's always advisable to seek professional advice to ensure that probate is handled efficiently and cost-effectively, and Probate Solicitors can often help deal with the matter in a way to keep the unnecessary expenses to a minimum. 
To contact our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster, call 01524 581 306 or email and our Probate experts, Naomi Pinder and Hope Jordan, will be in touch to discuss how we can assist. 

Contact Us Today: 

To speak to a fully-qualified Probate Solicitors in Lancaster, contact us online here. 
Or give us a call on 01524 581306. 

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