The cost of getting probate depends on which route you take.
Doing probate yourself, without a solicitor or other professional provider, can save you £1000s. Here's an overview of the costs involved and your options.
Administrative costs (also known as disbursements)
It’s a good idea to get multiple copies of the death certificate when you register the death. This will make notifying organisations of the death more efficient. Death certificates cost £11 each.
Placing a “Deceased Estates Notice” in the Gazette costs £70+VAT. This will prove that you have taken steps to find creditors who are owed money by the estate. It’s a good idea to place a death notice in a local paper too, at a similar cost.
Probate application fees
When your probate forms are ready, there’s a payment to make to HM Courts & Tribunal Service of £215, if the value of the estate is £5,000 or over.
There’s no fee if the estate value is under £5,000.
Extra copies of the probate cost £1.50 each. This means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.
Doing probate yourself costs only your time and effort (plus the standard probate application fees). It is an administrative process, you don’t need any specialist knowledge. You will need to be very organised and follow the advice on the Government website carefully.
YouCanDoProbate is an online system that helps you DIY probate. Forget notebooks and files, all your probate application information can be stored securely online.
To simplify the process, our app will take you through a logical probate walkthrough, do all the calculations for you, auto-generate letters, intelligently determine any applicable exemptions and deliver the correct probate and tax forms automatically completed, ready for you to sign and post.
There are lots of helpful prompts, a traffic light system to flag any missing or incomplete information and a thorough user guide. Our UK-based friendly and knowledgeable support team are on the end of an email or phone for unlimited support, should you need additional reassurance.
The cost of using YouCanDoProbate is a flat, one-off fee of £325 which will save you time and stress and ensure you get the paperwork right.
Probate solicitors and fixed-price probate
You may want to consider using a professional probate solicitor if the value of the estate is over the inheritance tax threshold and is very complex.
However, of the 275,000 probates completed each year, only 25,000 of these usually qualify for inheritance tax, meaning 250,000 don’t, and don’t require a solicitor to work on them.
Solicitors tend to charge an hourly rate. Quotes for completing probate can run into £1000’s. They may try to up-sell you to a full ‘estate administration package and take a percentage of the value of the estate.
There are many probate providers advertising fixed-price probate as an alternative. Costs generally range from £500-£2,000 but often your quote is personalised to the circumstances of the deceased – whether they had a will or not, whether they owned a property etc – so beware of added extras.
Also beware of those who refuse to give a binding cost, preferring an estimate that can rise as the work goes on. Many providers advertise a low fixed price which rises when you get in touch.
You can do probate yourself
Whether you use a solicitor or not, the bulk of the work – gathering information about the deceased and their property, money and possessions – will need to be done by you, as executor. The solicitor or probate provider will then simply complete the forms with the information you have given them, which you could do yourself and save time, money and stress.
Don’t be daunted, YouCanDoProbate can help you through the process and get it right.