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Wills, trusts, probate and estates – costs

How much does it cost?

The cost of making a Will, setting up a Trust or dealing with Probate can often depend on the complexity of your circumstances and the level of assistance you require from Clarke Willmott.

We offer fixed pricing packages for some services, such as drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney so it’s always worth contacting us to discuss how best we can meet your requirements and budget.

We can also advise you about other third party fees that you should consider, such as Probate Court fees.

Here are our fixed fees and some examples of our bespoke charges. If you’d like a more detailed estimate of costs, please contact us.

How much does it cost to make a Will?

The fees for making a Will can range from  £900 (inc VAT) for a single, basic will to more than £4,500 (inc VAT) for a pair of complex Wills, created to protect various assets and save inheritance tax.

The value you receive is in the advice and security of protecting your family wealth for future generations.  Having met with you initially, and discovered what is important to, you we will advise you on a range of options and the fixed fee costs for each so that you are fully informed before you instruct us.  We do not charge for an initial meeting at our offices, so if you decide not to proceed, you will leave us better informed but not out of pocket.

How much does it cost to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Our fixed fee packages will give you certainty on cost. These fees include the registration of the Lasting Power of Attorney, which means it will be available for use when needed. Our packages are:

  • A single Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney document – £682 inc VAT (which includes a £600 solicitor’s fee and £82 Court fees)
  • A pair of similar Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney documents – £1,364 inc VAT (which includes a £1,200 solicitor’s fee and £164 Court fees)
  • A pair of similar Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney documents PLUS a pair of similar Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney documents – £2,728 inc VAT (which includes a £2,400 solicitor’s fee and £328 Court fees)

How much does is cost to register an Enduring Power of Attorney?

The fee for registering an Enduring Power of Attorney, following loss of capacity, is £682 inc VAT (which includes a £600 solicitor’s fee and £82 Court fees). Registration takes approximately three months, so it is wise to start the process as soon as a loss of capacity begins.

How much are Probate Court fees?

When a solicitor applies for a Grant of Probate on your behalf, the Probate court fees are £155 per application. These fees are higher when applicants deal directly with the Probate Registry, without using a solicitor.

Extra copies of the Grant of Probate can be purchased for 50p each.

There was a proposal to change probate court fees to between £300 and £20,000 depending on the size of the estate. The proposal was put on hold for the 2017 General Election and at this time has not been progressed.

How much does it cost to apply for probate?

Grant only service

Our Grant only service can be a cost effective way to obtain a Grant of Probate for a simple estate. Using this service, Clarke Willmott will draft a Grant of Probate (or Grant of Letters of Administration) using information provided by the family.  The Grant only service is only available where no inheritance tax is due. The family will be responsible for dealing with the estate once the Grant has been received.

Our Grant only fees are:

  • Where a simplified estate form (IHT205) is submitted – £2,555 inc VAT (which includes a £2,400 solicitor’s fee and £155 Court fees)
  • Where a full estate form (IHT400) is submitted – £3,455 inc VAT (which includes a £3,300 solicitor’s fee and £155 Court fees and extra copies of the Grant)

Full estate administration service

Our full estate administration service will provide you with expertise throughout the entire Probate process. This could include:

  • Providing initial advice
  • Gathering the necessary evidence needed for the Probate application
  • Applying for the Grant of Representation
  • Collecting in the estate assets
  • Paying tax, liabilities and legacies
  • Dealing with HMRC negotiations
  • Preparation of full estate accounts and tax returns
  • Distributing the residue of the estate to the entitled beneficiaries.

Our fees for this will vary depending upon the terms of the Will (or if the deceased died intestate), the size and complexity of the estate and the type of assets involved.

As a guide, the fees for full estate administration will typically start from £3,000 plus VAT for a very straightforward estate whilst fees for complex estates can exceed £20,000 plus VAT.

Costs can be reduced considerably if family members are prepared to help with the non-legal tasks such as clearing personal items, meeting with estate agents and transferring utilities. These aspects can often be time-consuming but do not usually require our expertise.

Before undertaking any work, we will meet with you to review the Will and discuss the estate. We will then give you a fees estimate – which is a range of costs that we believe we could incur when dealing with the estate.   We will also give you a fixed fee alternative. If you chose a fixed fee option you’ll know exactly how much the estate administration will cost, however…

Probate Court fees and the costs of selling property are payable in addition to our fees.

What are the fees for setting up a trust?

This will depend on the type of trust and what you are putting in it:

  • Typically, a bare trust holding cash will be around £750 plus VAT to set up.
  • A lifetime discretionary trust or life interest trust designed to hold cash or investments will cost around £1,000 plus VAT to set up.
  • A personal injury trust to protect the award of a successful claim will cost £1,200 plus VAT.

In addition, you may need help with transferring the assets into the trust, setting up bank accounts, inheritance tax returns and capital gains tax holdover claims. Fees for these services will be payable on top.

How much will it cost for Clarke Willmott to act as executor or trustee?

When the Clarke Willmott Trust Corporation Limited is appointed to act as professional executor or trustee either solely or alongside a family member the corporation makes no charge for the responsibility it is undertaken.  However Clarke Willmott as a firm will charge for the time involved in team members dealing with the estate or trust administration in exactly the same way that it would charge family executors or trustees.

Will I qualify for Legal Aid?

Unfortunately the costs of Wills, Probate, trusts and Lasting Power of Attorney do not qualify for Legal Aid.

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Contact a Wills and Probate solicitor

If you have a question about our fees or costs contact one of our specialist Wills solicitors on 0800 652 8025 or contact us online.