Probate & Estate Administration Advice

Probate is the legal process of administering someone's estate who has passed away. This involves dealing with any money, property and possessions they had at the time of their death. It also involves settling any outstanding debts, collecting money that's owed to the deceased person and dividing the estate amongst the respective beneficiaries (the people who are to inherit the estate).

Grant of Probate Solicitors

Our specialist probate solicitors can help you thorough this difficult process by obtaining a grant of representation on your behalf. We aim to make our estate administration pricing as transparent as possible. We strive to achieve this by providing personal representatives of an estate with all inclusive fixed prices for our probate services wherever possible to provide certainty of legal costs.

If you require further information, you can benefit from our free initial consultation, which will guide you through the probate process to help you understand what's involved. 

Russell & Russell are accredited by the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme which sets the benchmark for best practice and transparency in the provision of wills and estate planning services. Specific experience of individual team members can be seen in the Wills & Probate team profiles. 

Contact our probate team

if you would like to get in contact with our probate team, please call 0800 103 2600 or  request a call back

More information 

Below is some more information on some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding probate matters:

Put simply, probate is obtaining the authority from the court to deal with a deceased person’s financial affairs in accordance with their will. When there’s no will, a grant of letters of administration may be required.

It’s obtaining the authority from the court to deal with a deceased person’s financial affairs when they have died without a valid will. In these instances the “Rules of Intestacy” apply.

The “Rules of Intestacy” is a strict order of who’s entitled to a share in an estate that doesn’t involve a valid will and is based on the bloodline of the person who has passed away.

Every situation is different and often depends on the size and complexity of the estate. We offer a free, initial consultation where we can get a better idea of your circumstances so we can advise on how long we expect your case will take to complete.

We charge £495 + vat to obtain a grant of probate or letters of administration in order for executors or administrators to be able to deal with the administration of the estate.

Key stages of what is included in our pricing:

  1. Preparing the relevant HMRC forms and Statement of Truth from the probate valuations obtained by you
  2. Placing statutory advertisements (if required)
  3. Carrying out a Certainty Search if required
  4. Helping you to ensure that the relevant HMRC forms and Statement of Truth are correct and suitable to be signed
  5. Lodging your application for the Grant of Representation at the Probate Registry
  6. Providing you with the Grant of Representation and sealed copies

If you would prefer for Russell & Russell deal with things on your behalf, we can do this. Our pricing structure is based on the complexity of the estate to be administered.

If the estate is valued under £325,000 and there’s no inheritance tax to pay, our fee is £995 + vat for dealing with up to four accounts (for example, bank, savings, ISA or NSI accounts). For estates involving four to 10 accounts, the fee is £1,995 + vat.

If the estate is valued over £325,000 and inheritance tax may be payable, we’ll provide a fixed fee quote for you once we’ve gathered all the relevant information about the estate and we understand its complexity.

Please be aware that should something come to light that wasn’t accounted for in the original cost we provided, our fixed fee could be subject to change. Also, if there are over 10 assets that need to be dealt with, we’ll provide a cost for this at our hourly rate.

The prices above are our standard costs, but they may be subject to alteration if administration of the estate falls outside what has been agreed with you or if your instructions to us change. In any case, the amendment in price will be discussed with you first.

Key stages and what is included in our prices:

  1. Valuing the estate assets
  2. Obtaining details of outstanding debts
  3. Arranging payment of the funeral from estate funds (if required)
  4. Placing statutory advertisements (if required)
  5. Carrying out a Certainty Search if required
  6. Preparing the relevant HMRC forms and Statement of Truth
  7. Arranging payment of Inheritance Tax where necessary
  8. Helping you to ensure that the relevant HMRC forms and Statement of Truth are correct and suitable to be signed
  9. Lodging your application for the Grant of Representation at the Probate Registry
  10. Collecting in the assets
  11. Paying the debts from estate funds
  12. Liaising with HMRC in respect of income tax for the current tax year up to date of death
  13. Instructive an accountant to complete the additional tax returns (if required)
  14. Preparing estate and distribution accounts
  15. Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries

Not included in the price are the sales fees on properties, estate agency, taxes and HMLR fees.

If there’s no will, we may need to trace beneficiaries - the people who are to inherit the estate. We may need to identify if the person who passed away owned any stocks or shares and we may even have to investigate the possibility that there is a will, but no one actually knows where it’s being held. These costs are outlined below:

For share/stock holdings
One to three share holdings: £100 + vat
Three to five share holdings: £250 + vat
Six plus share holdings:        £300 + vat

For beneficiaries
Three to five beneficiaries: £100 + vat
Six plus beneficiaries:        £250 + vat

Other charges to consider are called disbursements. These are compulsory charges related to administering the estate that the government levies.

  • Probate court fee: £155 (subject to government review in April 2019)
  • £1.50 for each copy of a grant of representation (grant of probate or letters of administration) required

You may have to pay other disbursements, such as:

  • accountant’s fee for any income tax return
  • asset tracing
  • a certainty will search (a will that needs to be located)
  • a statutory advertisement fee to advertise for unknown creditors
  • any loss of shares certificates or share registrar
  • the stockbroker fee for sale of the share(s)

Any or all of these costs will be individual to your circumstances. We’ll advise you if you’re liable for any them once we know the extent of the estate.



If you want to sell a property you inherit, we can do this for you. Our conveyancing department provides competitive rates and these can be provided should you choose to do this.

If Russell & Russell has been appointed executors or co-executors of the will, we’re responsible for marketing and selling the property. The sale price will also come under our jurisdiction. If this is the case, our fees may be subject to amendment.

If you’re a beneficiary and you don’t want to sell a property you’ve inherited, but rather transfer it into your own name (or someone else’s), we can help. This type of transaction does incur additional fees which we can provide if you choose to do that.

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