Probate and Estate Administration

Dealing with the legal issues relating to the financial affairs of someone who has died can be a confusing and daunting task and, as the Personal Representative, you are 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. 


Our Administration Service

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.  As a guide:-

Our Costs 

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.

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. (If disputes arise it is likely to lead to increased costs)
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC 


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 Application Fee of £155.00 (currently under review by HM Government)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department Search - £2.00 per beneficiary
  • Post in the London Gazette (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) - £110.00
  • Post in a local newspaper  (also helps to protect against unexpected claims) - £150.00 to £250.00
  • Additional copies of Grant of Probate - £1.50 each (currently under review by HM Government)  

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 informaton.

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. 

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 3 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 

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: 

  • IHT205 and Probate Application (based on client's valuations) - £1,200.00 plus VAT (plus disbursements)
  • IHT205 and Probate Application (Smith Gadd to obtain valuations) - £1,500 to £2,500 plus VAT (plus disbursements)
  • IHT400 and Probate Application (based on client's valuations) - £2,500 to £2,750 plus VAT (plus disbursements)
  • IHT400 and Probate Application (Smith Gadd to obtain valuations) - £2,750 to £3,500.00 plus VAT (plus disbursements)   

Costs, Fees, Disbursements and Estimates correct as at 11th June 2020 

For an initial discussion and
an estimate of our costs contact
Sarah Hadaway or Laura Boyle 
on 01403 271222 


  Follow the links to
The Law Society and Legal Choice
in the "Useful Links" column to the right
for more information about estate administration 
and instructing a solicitor