“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 £550 + VAT
Full estate Administration
Depending on the size and complexity of the case Northwood Banks & Co fees are between 1 and 1.9% of the gross estate. plus a reduced fee for the Grant extraction of £200 + 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
Barclays: 4.5% of the value of
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.
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
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 £155
£7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
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 £50p 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
Meet Our team
Our team has over 100 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to wills and estate administration. The team has particular expertise in high value estates and inheritance tax matters.
We have six members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Kevin Parsons, director and Head of Legal Practice and Roland Borriello, director and Head of Wills and Probate.
Kevin Parsons- Director
Kevin is our Head of Legal Practice and has over 35 years' experience in private client work, specialising in wills and probate.
Kevin has been working in this area since he qualified and has helped thousands of families and individuals.
Roland Borriello – Director
Roland originally graduated from University with an accountancy degree and went on to forge a career in Financial Services before
switching to a career in law. Roland was at the forefront of changes to how Legal services is delivered to consumers allowing more choice and flexible options for consumers. .
Stephanie Borriello – Director
Stephanie qualified as a chartered accountant in 1996. Having a fully qualified Chartered accountant in our team is quite rare and an invaluable asset when dealing with our client tax affairs in particular.
Samra Ullah –Solicitor
Samra has a degree in Law from Coventry University and has completed the the Legal Practice Course at Birmingham University. Samra qualified as a Conveyancing Solicitor in 2016. Being an experienced Conveyancing Solicitor is invaluable when dealing with the property sale in an estate.
Maryiam Lunat- trainee licensed Probate Practioner
Mariyam has been working in our probate dept for almost 2 years. She is currently studying for the prestigious CLC Licensed Probate Practioner qualification. Mariyam has a degree in Law from Nottingham Trent University
Conveyancing Prices and Service
Click the button below for an bespoke instant quote
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
Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
Deal with application for registration at Land Registry
Meet our team
Kevin Parsons- Director
Kevin is our Head of Legal Practice and has over 35 years' experience in private client work, specialising in wills probate and conveyancing. Kevin has been working in
this area since he qualified and has helped thousands of families and individuals.
Roland Borriello – Director
Roland originally graduated from University with an accountancy degree and went on to forge a career in Financial Services before switching to a career in law.
Roland was at the forefront of changes to how Legal services is delivered to consumers allowing more choice and flexible options for consumers.
Charles Fentiman –Solicitor
Charles has been a Solicitor for over 30 years specialising
in Conveyancing and Employment Law. He has a degree in Law from Wolverhampton University. Charles heads up our Conveyancing Dept
Samra Ullah –Solicitor
Samra has a degree in Law from Coventry University and has completed the the Legal Practice Course at Birmingham
University. Samra qualified as a Conveyancing Solicitor in 2016.
Deepak Badham - Trainee Licensed conveyancer
Deepak originally worked for a large trust Corporation
that specialised in Trust properties. As a private Client Practice many of our conveyancing cases involve trusts and Deepak’s experience in this field is invaluable. He plans to study for the prestigious CLC Licensed Conveyancer
qualification next year. Deepak has a degree in Law from Coventry University.