The cost of probate can be a very confusing matter, with vast differences in who charges what and how they calculate their quote. We will try to address the amounts you should and should not be paying, the methods companies use to work out quotes, and things to watch out for when getting a quote.
The cost to have a probate specialist take over the estate administration for you will vary from estate to estate. It takes in factors such as size of the property, number of beneficiaries, and the amount of bank accounts, to name a few. There are multiple methods as to how a probate specialist calculates the quote.
An hourly rate for services is one way the quote for estate administration is calculated, this usually falls between £100 and £250 per hour. This can swing either way, some find it saves them money because the probate is simple and does not take much of the specialists’ time. Others can find this a bank breaking method as the estate takes an eye watering amount of time as new barriers begin to crop up that prolong the case.
Percentage of the Estate
Taking a flat percentage of the estate is the common means of working out the quote. This can be as low as 1% to as extortionate as 6%. Law firms sit around the 2% mark on average. The estates complexity plays a role in working out the percentage. Some also like to use both methods in a quote, for example they will charge 1% of the estate, and they will also charge £100/hour for additional work.
Shall not exceed
A good thing to ask for is a ‘shall not exceed’ quote, the hint is in the name, they give you a figure that the probate fees cannot exceed, most firms will be happy to give you this, keep in mind that it is at times quite high and occasionally it backfires when the firm sees it as a ‘happy to pay up to mark’, so they ramp up the charges to the amount and you end up costing yourself more, it all depends on the firm. I recommend having a talk with the specialist first, it’s a good way to give you some background on the company.
The cost of probate does not often fall below £2000-£3000. Each method has their pros and cons however for the most part Executors prefer the percentage system as they have an exact number to work with in relation to planning out expenses.
Probate is for many, an unfamiliar and complicated procedure faced at a distressing time, if you are not sure if the estate needs Probate or you do not know what you need to do as an Executor please do not hesitate in contacting Dean Steele on 01722 410009 to discuss the estate administration.
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