How Much Does a Grant of Probate Cost?
01 February 2021
The cost of Probate can depend on a few things, such as the size and complexity of the estate and whether you use a professional (such as a solicitor) to help you with probate.
A Grant of Representation is a legal document that confirms your authority to deal with the bank accounts, property and belongings of someone who died. This document is also called a Grant of Probate when there is a legally valid Will.
If you are responsible for probate, this is usually because you've either been named as the executor in someone's Will or because you are the next of kin for someone who has died without a Will.
In England and Wales there are two types of Grant of Representation:
- Grant of Probate if you are the Executor named in the Will
- Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no Will
A Grant of Representation might be needed by an organisation, like a bank or building society, to realease money from the account of someone who has died. This document confirms who has the legal authority to close the account and receive the money from it. It will also be needed to sell or transfer any property in the estate.
When you hear people talking about whether 'probate is needed', it's this document that is being referred to.
Paying for probate
Probate isn't always needed, especially if the person who died didn't own a property or a large amount of money. But if you're asked for a Grant of Probate by a bank, building society or other financial organisation then you will have to go through the legal process of applying for one.
Each bank or building society will release a certain amount of money without needing probate. The limit for each bank is different and this could be as high as £50,000 or as low as £5,000. For more information, see bank limits for probate.
The cost of applying for a Grant of Probate is a standard Court fee that is payable to the Probate Registry. If you decide to complete all the probate work yourself, the cost will be an application fee of £215 to get the Grant of Representation document. You won't have to pay this fee if probate isn't needed.
If you decide to get professional legal help with the legal, tax and administrative work involved in probate, the cost for this will depend on the value and complexity of the estate.
Probate can be a long process and if you are planning to do probate yourself, you should understand that it could take up to a year, perhaps even more.
You can be held financially liable for any mistakes made, so think carefully about the commitment required before you start Probate yourself.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excl VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs*.
*We can also pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral, providing the Estate has sufficient financial assets which can be sold in due course.
Paying a professional for probate
Some probate solicitors charge for their probate services at an hourly rate or charge you a percentage of the total value of the estate. This can be anywhere from 1.5% up to about 5%. These percentage fees can take a significant chunk of the estate, particularly from higher value estates. Also remember to ask whether the quote you have includes VAT or not. If not, this will add another 20% to the final cost.
At Co-op Legal Services, we won't charge you a percentage of the estate. We'll provide a free, no obligation up front quote before any work begins. Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change.
For customers looking for a Complete Probate Service, we offer a free meeting with one of our experienced Probate Consultants. They'll run through the estate administration process with you and provide you with a written quote for us to complete probate on your behalf.
If you choose to instruct us, we can manage the whole probate process for you from start to finish, reducing the burden on you. This includes cashing or transferring financial investments and accounts, arranging for the sale of property, completing the legal and tax documents and ensuring the estate is distributed correctly.
In addition, we offer a unique option for the funeral arrangements. If the funeral is arranged with Co-op Funeralcare, we can refund any deposit you have paid and settle the balance of the funeral from the estate, (provided that there are sufficient assets). So you won't have to pay the funeral costs from your own pocket.
The same applies to our probate fee. As long as there are enough assets to be liquidated in the estate, we'll take these costs directly from the estate so you won't have to pay any money up front.