“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.
When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all.
When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
Probate Prices and Service
Those dealing with the loss of a loved one will not have been comforted by headlines regarding extortionate probate fees.
According to research by consumer group Which?, the high street banks charge an average of 4% for the administration of straightforward estates under the inheritance tax threshold. Specialist probate companies have also come under criticism for charging similar fees and a lack of regulation of non-solicitors means there is no protection for customers. Solicitors come out comparatively well in a Daily Mail report charging an average of 1.92% for an estate with a value of £270,000.
The fundamental problem is that some service providers are unclear about how they charge for probate work, leaving families with inflated bills that they were not expecting.
At Northwood Banks we constantly strive to provide clear and
fair fees that reflect your needs, regardless of the estate’s size. Rather than charging an unpredictable hourly rate that can lead to surprises at the end, our fees are set from the start and fixed.
We are committed to keeping our fees below the average fees charged by soliciors as reported in the daily Mail report referred to above.
Fee for grant of probate only £690+ VAT
Full estate Administration
Depending on the size and complexity of the case Northwood Banks & Co fees are between 1 and 2% of the gross estate, plus a reduced fee for the Grant extraction of £300 + VAT. This is likely to be a fraction of the charges which according to Which? are charged by banks.
How much do banks and others charge?
According to the The Which Survey the charges for a £350,000 estate from nearly all the banks surveyed were substantially higher than the solicitors average including:
- Lloyds TSB: 4% of the value of the estate
- Barclays: 4.5% of the value of the estate
- NatWest/RBS: 4% of the value of the estate
Other providers of probate services such as retailers tend to be less forthcoming about what their charges will actually be.
Conveyancing Prices and Service
Click the button below for an bespoke instant quote
Conveyancing Service Information
How long will my house purchase take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-10 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.
Stages of the process
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that may apply:
- Take your instructions and give you initial advice
- Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
- Receive and advise on contract documents
- Carry out searches
- Obtain further planning documentation if required
- Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
- Give you advice on all documents and information received
- Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
- Send final contract to you for signature
- Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
- Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
- Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
- Complete purchase
- Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
- Deal with application for registration at Land Registry
Probate Service Information
What do clients want?
According to a recent report called “Shopping Around” by legal research company Jures, two of the most important things for clients were quality and fixed prices.
Quality can be hard to judge in advance but in probate high technical expertise and the experience to give realistic estimates of timing are important (see our Probate Guide for general guidance on this).
What are the risks?
The choice of adviser is important. A wrong choice can lead to inconvenience and potentially loss. Too cheap an option can prove too expensive in the end.
Conversely the assurance that comes with a big bank’s brand is not what it once was. The Which? Survey also shows that it is an unnecessarily expensive option.
Third party costs (disbursement costs) and service extras
There are some fees - known as disbursement costs - that you will have to pay as part of getting probate.
With some estates, it is sometimes necessary to sell off assets, such as property, when administering the estate.
As such, there are usually valuation and conveyancing fees which are additional to the quote you receive. See our conveyancing quote calculator above.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. examples are:
- Probate application fee of £273.
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
- Approx. £170-£250 Post in The London Gazette and in a Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
Potential additional costs
If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly
depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 each (1per asset usually).
How long will this take?
- On average, estates are dealt with within 6-9 months. (see our probate guide for more information)
- Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks.
- Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 12-24 weeks.
- Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-6 weeks.
As part of our fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require.
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application.
- Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
- Draft a legal oath or statement of truth for you to swear.
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
- Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you.
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate.