Administration of an Estate – Fee Structure

Fixed Fee Service

Obtaining a grant of representation and dealing with the administration of an estate can be complicated; it can take several months to make sure everything is done properly. At gunnercooke, we offer a complete estate administration service to help you through a difficult time.

We can help you through this difficult process by applying for and obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration on your behalf.  We will also collect in the assets and distribute the same to the beneficiaries.

Our fixed fee service applies, whether there is a valid Will or not, in the following circumstances:

  • There is not more than one property;
  • There are no foreign assets;
  • There are not more than 5 bank or building society accounts;
  • There are no other intangible assets;
  • The total value of the estate does not exceed £750,000;
  • There are not more than 10 beneficiaries;
  • There are no trusts created by a Will;
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this will 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.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor (Partner level) 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 legal oath for you to swear;
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf;
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you;
  • Place statutory notices;
  • Report tax during the period of administration to HMRC;
  • Submit bankruptcy searches;
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate.

Please note, this fixed fee service does not include the preparation of any self-assessment tax return for the deceased or their estate, preparation of a deed of variation or any legal costs or disbursements relating to the transfer or conveyancing of the estate property.  Please see below for further details in respect of any such matters.

How much does this service cost?

We estimate a fixed fee of £7,000.00 including VAT.  Disbursements (which are sums paid out to third parties by us on your behalf) are in addition to that.  Every estate is different, which is why we encourage you to contact us so we can provide you with a precise estimate outlining a range of potential fees to make sure you get the right amount of support to meet your individual circumstances. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Typical Disbursements (based on an estate with two executors and six beneficiaries) may include the following:

Probate Court fee- £273 (no VAT payable).

Swearing of the oath- £14 (£7 per Executor- no VAT payable). This figure will increase if there are any Codicils to the Will.

Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches- £12 (£2.00 per beneficiary- no VAT payable).

Post in The London Gazette- £101.52 inc VAT (protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors).

Post in a Local Newspaper- approximately £120 inc VAT (also helps to protect against unexpected claims. Please note, this figure varies from Local Newspaper to Local Newspaper).

Total amount payable in this example (including VAT & disbursements) = £7,402.52.


The following factors are likely to increase the cost of your matter:

  • Not having all of the paperwork available, or having missing or incorrect information that needs investigation and correction
  • Third parties not responding to our communications promptly
  • Dealing with unusual or complex assets or items (for example, fine art, timeshares, shares in private companies, etc.)

As soon as any complications arise, we will discuss these with you and agree the fee for the additional work being carried out in advance of any additional work being undertaken.

Inheritance Tax

Please note that any inheritance tax (‘IHT’) payable in relation to the estate is entirely separate from and in addition to the charges set out above.  If you wish to calculate or estimate the amount of IHT that will be payable upon the deceased’s estate, or require further information at this stage regarding how IHT will be calculated, please see the following links:

Cases outside of our Fixed Fee Service

If the estate is taxable in respect of IHT, or if any of the other qualifying criteria set out above in respect of our fixed fee offering are not met, our Fixed Fee price offering will not apply.  However, we will be happy to discuss with you the ways in which we can help you in those cases.  Our charges for cases that fall outside of our Fixed Fee Service will be calculated on a time basis and so our charges will depend on the amount of work involved.  Our charging rate for such work will usually be around £350 per hour plus VAT, however this can vary based on the solicitor’s experience or their location.  We will be happy to provide you with an estimate of our likely costs once we know what assets are contained within the estate and therefore the amount of work that is likely to be required.


On average, estates that qualify for our Fixed Fee service can be fully administered within 3-6 months of us being instructed.

Helpful Information

If you would like more information regarding wills, probate and inheritance matters generally, please click on the following link: