top of page
Smith Gadd & Co Probate & Estate Administration

Probate & Estate Administration

Dealing with the legal issues relating to the financial affairs of someone who has died can be a confusing and daunting task. The Personal Representative is responsible for making sure that the estate is administered correctly.


This could involve, but is not limited to:  

  • Contacting financial institutions to sell or transfer assets

  • Dealing with property, shares or business assets

  • Paying bills and liabilities

  • Dealing with Inheritance Tax authorities

  • Dealing with Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax issues

  • Obtaining Grant of Representation

  • Ensuring distribution of legacies and payments to other beneficiaries

  • Finalising all matters relating to the person's affairs 


Smith Gadd and Co's experienced Probate Team can help you with all or part of this process. 

Whose responsibility is it to get probate?

If the person who died left a valid will, this will name one or more executors, and it is their responsibility to apply for probate. 

If there isn't a will (known as dying intestate) the process can be more complicated. An application for a grant of letters of administration will need to be made. 

The person to whom letters of administration is granted is known as the administrator. The 
administrator is the person who has the legal right to deal with the affairs of the person who has died, and is determined by a set order of priority. 

Both executors and administrators are often referred to as Person Representatives and is the person, or it may be more than one person, who is legally entitled to administer the estate of the 
person who has died. 

How to apply for probate

We can help you apply for probate by making the process easier and making sure you do not get 
penalties if you submit the wrong information. We have the experience and expertise to effectively deal with all of the procedural requirements involved in probate, making sure any problems are identified and resolved and all accounts are handled with full legal compliance. 

Our costs

Before taking your instructions, we will discuss the transaction with you to ascertain the complexity of the matter and let you have an estimate of our fees plus the costs of known disbursements. 

The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

Grant of Probate Only

If you would like Smith Gadd & Co to obtain the Grant of Probate on your behalf so that you can deal with the collection and distribution of the assets yourself our costs will vary, according to the complexity, but as a guide: 

Probate Application (based on client's valuations) - £1,500.00 plus VAT (plus disbursements)

Probate Application (Smith Gadd to obtain valuations) - £2,000 to £3,000 plus VAT (plus disbursements)

IHT400 and Probate Application (based on client's valuations) - £2,500 to £3,500 plus VAT (plus disbursements)

IHT400 and Probate Application (Smith Gadd to obtain valuations) - £3,000 to £5,000.00 plus VAT (plus disbursements) 

We can handle the full process for you and our fees would be from £3,000 plus VAT in straight forward matters where:  

  • There is a valid Will

  • There is no more than one property

  • There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts

  • There are only funeral expenses and usual household liabilities outstanding at the date of death.

  • There are no more than 4 beneficiaries

  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. 

  • There are no claims made against the estate

Charges for full administration will be between 1% and 3% of the gross estate. 



Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as court fees.  Disbursements are additional to our fees and can include: 

  • Probate Court Fee £273.00 plus £1.50 for each office copy of the Grant required

  • S27 Notices in the London Gazette £85.00 plus VAT and local newspaper, estimated between £150.00 and £200.00 (price variable)

  • Valuation fees for property, chattels & household effects, jewellery, stocks & shares (prices variable)

  • Bankruptcy search fees £2.00 per beneficiary per distribution

  • Stockbroker fees for dealing with disposal of stocks & shares

  • All debts and liabilities of the estate including all tax liabilities of the estate

  • Estate agent fees, if selling an estate property

  • Conveyancing fees and disbursements if selling or transferring property out of the estate

  • Accountancy fees if Accountant instructed to deal with deceased's income tax affairs

  • Registrar fees for dealing with missing share certificates

There may be additional disbursements if additional services required, full details will be provided during the administration, if appropriate.

Potential Additional Costs 

If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could be significant depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information.

Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included. Our Conveyancing Department will be pleased to discuss the sale or transfer of a property with you and let you have a no obligation quotation for our fees. 

Costs, Fees, Disbursements and Estimates correct as at April 2023 

How long will it take?

A straightforward estate usually takes between 6 and 12 months to administer. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes between 3 and 6 months, then 1 to 3 months to collect in and sell the assets and once this has been done it can take a further 1 to 6 months to distribute the assets. 

Our Administration Service will: 

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate practitioner 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 Statement of Truth for you to sign

  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf

  • Obtain the Probate

  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

  • Finalise matters with the tax authorities 

bottom of page