Probate Charges

Why instruct Dixon Ward?

Dixon Ward has been assisting clients with the administration of estates for well over 100 years. We believe in building strong and lasting relationships with our clients and have assisted numerous families with the administration of their estates for several generations.

Our continuing success is built purely on the quality of our service to our clients – we do not advertise externally or gain work through paid-for referrals. The majority of our work is through repeat business for our existing clients and their word of mouth recommendation to others.

The administration will be handled by a Solicitor who will be proactive, sympathetic and responsive and will work promptly and effectively to progress and complete the administration of the estate.

We are very experienced in dealing with estates from the relatively straight-forward to the highly complex of significant value. We are regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and have suitable professional indemnity insurance for all such work.

Our probate team

Gregory White is a Partner and Head of the Private Client Team. With over 20 years’ experience, Gregory has particular expertise in Court of Protection and complex tax and estate planning. He is also STEP-qualified as well as being a member of The Association of Lifetime Lawyers. His hourly rate is currently £350 + VAT.
Paul Denza is a senior STEP-qualified Solicitor of almost 30 years experience in complex tax and estate planning, will drafting, probate and trusts. His hourly rate is currently £350 + VAT.
Abigail Pfister qualified as a Solicitor in 2012. Abigail is STEP qualified as well as being a member of The Association of Lifetime Lawyers. Her hourly rate is currently £320 per hour. 
Bryony Greenfield qualified as a Solicitor in 2019. Bryony was a Trainee Solicitor with the firm and has recently become STEP qualified. Her hourly rate is £290 plus VAT.
Reena Khatri qualified as a Solicitor in 2021. Her hourly rate is currently £285 + VAT.
John Lee qualified as a Solicitor in 2023. His hourly rate is currently £260 + VAT.

Whichever Solicitor from our Private Client Department is handling your file he or she will generally be assisted by a Trainee Solicitor or experienced Private Client Paralegal. Their hourly rate is currently £230 + VAT.

Our charges

Our charges will depend on the complexity of the estate and therefore the amount of time spent on the file. We set out below an indication of the fess and disbursements payable. This is assuming all of the assets are in the UK and there is no dispute concerning the estate.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

A very straight forward estate might take 20 hours to administer and generate charges in the region of £5,000-£8,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

One of the most complex estates that we have had to deal in recent years involved the Solicitor dealing with the file and his trainee spending approximately 210 hours of time with charges slightly in excess of £50,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

A typical estate which in the Richmond area might be an estate in the region of £1m-£2m might involve 60-70 hours of work resulting in fees in the region of £15,000-£20,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. Even a typical estate may have factors or issues which make it more complicated. The examples given above are purely illustrative. Once we have a clear overview of the assets of the estate and any issues relating to the Will or intestacy we will provide you with a detailed estimate of the likely charges.

We review our hourly rates at the end of March of each year.

You can find out more about the work involved in administering an estate here.

Factors that will assist and simplify the administration of the estate:

• There is a valid Will
• There is no more than one property
• There are a limited number of Bank or Building Society accounts
• There is no large Portfolio of investments
• There are only a few beneficiaries
• There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
• There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
• There are no claims made against the estate.

Factors which are likely to add to the cost of the administering the estate:

• There is no Will
• The Will contains complex trust provisions
• There have been a large number of lifetime gifts made by the deceased in the 7 tax years prior to his or her death.
• There is a large Portfolio of investments
• There are a large number of beneficiaries
• There is more than one property
• There is a dispute between the beneficiaries
• There is no relative or friend who can register the death and make the funeral arrangements.

How long will the administration take?

In the case of a straight forward estate the administration of the estate can generally be dealt with within 6 months. Typically, obtaining the Grant a Probate takes 4-6 months. Collecting in the assets may take 2-4 weeks. Once this has been done we can distribute the assets which normally takes once again 2-4 weeks.

In the case of a typical estate referred to above this may take 8-12 months to administer. In the case of this estate obtaining the Grant of Probate generally takes 3-5 months. Collecting in the assets is likely to take a further 1-2 months. Distributing the assets normally takes a further 1-2 months but this can be delayed for example if there is any difficulty over selling the property in the estate.

In the case of a complex estate it is likely to take at least 6 months to obtain the Grant of Probate. Collecting in the assets is likely to take 1-2 months. The administration of the estate can be completed within 12 months in total. However, if there are assets which prove difficult to dispose of or if there are disputes arising in connection with the administration of the estate then this can delay completing the administration by as much as a further 6-12 months.

Disbursements

In addition to our bill there will be disbursements. They would be the same at any firm. They are made up of;

• Probate Application fee of £273;
• Fee of £1.50 for each sealed copy of the Grant of Probate;
• Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department Searches (£2.40 inc VAT per beneficiary);
• £88 plus VAT post in The London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors;
• £126.19 plus VAT post in a Local Newspaper – this also helps protect against unexpected claims.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Court Fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Get in touch

Simply fill in the form on the right and we’ll put you in touch with the right person. However, if you would rather email, you can do so at: [email protected]

If you would prefer to speak to someone on the phone, you can reach our team on: 020 8940 4051

You can also visit us at our offices on beautiful Richmond Green:
Dixon Ward, 16 The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QD

Our reception is open 09:00 - 17:30, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

Gregory White & Abigail Pfister are the
accredited Lifetime Lawyers at Dixon Ward

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