10th FEBRUARY 2021
A standard probate application costs £215 plus £1.50 for each copy of the grant of probate. But before you dig into your wallet, you should consider whether you actually need to apply for probate.
Probate is only required after around 50% of deaths in the UK. If all the deceased’s assets were jointly owned with someone who is still alive, then probate is not required because the assets are automatically passed on to the other person. Additionally, if the value of your loved one’s estate is low, probate might not be necessary. Organisations such as banks and building societies usually have a limit on how much of someone’s money they can release following their death if there is no grant of probate. This limit can range from £5,000 - £50,000, so it’s worth doing some research before you decide whether you need a grant of probate or not.
If your loved one’s assets were solely owned and valued above this limit, you next need to decide whether you require a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration. If your loved one left a will and named you as an executor, you will need to apply for a grant of probate. On the other hand, if your loved one did not leave a will, but you are the next of kin and stand to inherit the most from their estate according to the rules of intestacy, you need to apply for a grant of letters of administration. The collective term for these two legal documents is a grant of representation. Both are legal documents that grant you authority to handle someone’s estate and assets following their death.
The cost of probate can vary according to how you choose to handle it. If you wish to save some money, you can apply without professional help. The cost of probate if you are handling the application on your own is £215 plus £1.50 for each additional copy of the document. When you are handling the estate, you might need to send the grant off to multiple organisations at once, so it can be beneficial to buy more than one copy.
The probate application can be time-consuming and stressful. You will need to fill out a probate application form and an inheritance tax form, both of which are full of legal jargon that the average person might not understand. These forms also require thorough research and a good understanding of the value of your loved one’s estate and if you make a mistake on your probate application, you can be held financially liable and your application could face significant delays. This is why many people choose to hire a probate solicitor or professional service to handle the estate for them, which adds to the cost of the application process.
If you want the peace of mind of knowing that your application is being handled by a professional who won’t make a mistake, or you simply don’t have time to deal with a probate application alongside your other commitments, you might choose to hire a professional to help you. When you hire a solicitor or a probate service, the cost of the application is lowered from £215 to £155, but the overall cost will depend on who you hire.
Probate solicitors set their rates in different ways, with some charging on an hourly rate and others charging you a percentage of the estate. These are risky options when hiring a solicitor as they can’t always give you an accurate estimation of how much you will be paying in total. Even if a solicitor is only charging 2% of the estate, this could equate to more than $10,000 depending on the size of the estate.
The safest option when comparing quotes from various probate solicitors and services is to go for a service that offers a fixed fee. This way, there will be no hidden costs or nasty surprises when you pay. At Kwil, we offer two different services to help you with the probate process, both of which are fixed-fee services. The fee will depend on the size and complexity of your loved one’s estate and on the service that you choose. If you choose our grant-only service, we will complete the probate application for you to ensure that your get your grant of probate in a timely manner and do not have to deal with the fallout of making a mistake on your probate forms. If you opt for our full estate administration service, we will not only acquire your grant of probate for you, but also handle the entire estate administration, which includes selling or transferring property, distributing funds and assets, claiming on life insurance, and much more. Call us for free, no obligation quote today.