– managing the affairs of a person who has died

When a person passes away, all that they owned and possessed is referred to as their estate. The estate is normally passed on to surviving relatives and friends, usually by instruction in accordance with their will. If the person has died without having left a will, the matters of the estate will be managed and shared out according to (legal) “the rules of intestacy”.

Probate is the legal process that is applied when someone applies for the right to manage the affairs of a person who has died. The cost of probate is usually split between the fixed costs (the application fee payable to the Court), and the variable costs (those of the solicitor) you use.

However, it must be noted that only legally married or those in legal civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit from the estate at the time of death under the rules of intestacy. Divorcees and this in ended civil partnerships cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy.

We can help you with any associated service, whether it’s making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney or the administering of estates and the gifting of property.

If you are the executor of a will or you are the closest blood-relative of someone who may have died, we full appreciate this may be a very challenging time. We can provide the legal and professional help you need to deal with their estate.

Also, for situations where family members may not be in the position to manage their own financial affairs and property, we will help you protect their assets.

Please do get in touch if you want further details of the rules surrounding inherency and the rules of intestacy and for further information relating to surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who has died.

RHF’s maximum hourly rate is set at £350 + VAT. However, our probate practitioners’ hourly charging rates vary between £200 + VAT and £300 + VAT depending on their individual level of experience and that which is required.

The following disbursements (statutory, fixed third-party charges outside those of the practitioners) will also need to be added, and these typically include, but may not be limited to:

Probate Court fee, currently £155

Office copy of the Grant £.50 per copy

Trustee Act Notices in the London and any local Gazette (if required) – these range between £200 and £400 + VAT

ID verification charge £50

Bank Transfer Fee for sending monies £25.00

A simple probate service with a straightforward tax return, no property sale, one or two bank accounts and only one or two beneficiaries would typically cost between £1,000 + VAT and  £1,500 + VAT.

For a more complex (yet uncontentious) probate involving, for example, an inheritance tax return, multiple current, savings, shares and pension accounts and the sale of property would typically cost between £2,000 + VAT  and £4,000 + VAT though we will be able to provide a clearer estimate once we can see exactly what is required.

VAT will be charged at the current rate of 20% where applicable.

The Process of Probate

  1. Initial Instruction – you will discuss with us your needs and instructions.
  2. Gathering of financial information and collating financial information – we will receive all documentation in order for us to effectively start the preparation of the application.
  3. Preparation of your application – we will prepare your application using the information and documentation you have provided. (
  4. Obtain your approval of your application before submission –  we will contact you and seek approval of the drafted application before we submit it.
  5. Submission of your Application – We will submit the application along with any other necessary original documents (These are normally the Will and Codicil). Along with any fees payable such as the Court Fees and Application fees (
  6. Waiting for Approval – The Gov website is currently as of the 5th August 2022 stating a time estimate of around 8 weeks. Due to this we would suggest allowing 12 – 14 weeks for the complete process. However, we will always endeavour in ensuring you are kept up to date at every step of the process. (
  7. The Grant of Probate – when the probate has been granted, it will usually be dispatched within a week of the grant.

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes around 4 - 16 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 - 12 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4 - 12 weeks.

Our services include:

Insolvency |  Commercial Litigation  |  Debt |  Solicitors fees  |  Judicial Review |  Probate  |  Share agreements  |  Business