Probate & estate administration.

Speak to one of our probate specialists

Holding your hand through the process of administrating the estate of a loved one.

Emotions can run high during this difficult time, so our experienced team are on hand to help guide you through the maze of probate and estate administration working with you to provide as much or as little help as you need. Where we have advised on the drafting of the will and wealth planning structuring, we can provide an insight to the arrangements and ensure that the deceased’s wishes are fulfilled.

PEM is licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to provide the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.

Details of our probate accreditation can be viewed at under reference number C005366914.

What to do when someone dies

  • Register the death
  • Notify insurers
  • Arrange the funeral
  • Tell the Government about the death (Tell Us Once service)
  • Return any lasting or enduring power of attorney documents to the Office of the Public Guardian
  • Check if a surviving spouse/civil partner can get bereavement benefits (via the DWP)
  • Value the estate and check if you need to pay Inheritance Tax
  • Advertise the death to notify creditors (in The Gazette and in local newspapers)
  • Complete final lifetime tax return
  • Apply for/obtain probate
  • Administer the estate, including dealing with any income tax and capital gain tax matters

We work with the family to

  • Register the death
  • Act as executors where appointed
  • Obtain the Will
  • Protect assets during the probate and administration process
  • Determine all the assets and liabilities
  • Advertise the death to notify any creditors
  • Determine gifts made during the deceased’s lifetime
  • Complete the Inheritance Tax returns
  • Arrange for Inheritance Tax to be paid
  • Obtain a grant of probate or letters of administration
  • Collect the assets
  • Prepare the estate accounts
  • Advise on the most tax efficient payments to beneficiaries
  • Determine distributions for each beneficiary in line with the will
  • Carry out bankrupty searches
  • Make distributions to beneficiaries and prepare income certificates where appropriate
  • Prepare estate tax returns
  • Complete repayment claims for beneficiaries

Our timescale

There are number of factors that influence the time it takes to finalise an estate. Generally, timescales are determined by the complexity of the estate. If the estate has a foreign element, meaning there are assets in another country, or if there is a dispute over the estate, these factors can impact the timescale. 

Generally, a very simple estate with minimal assets can take a minimum of 6 months whilst a moderately complex estate can take a minimum of 18 months. A more complex estate can take up to 2-3 years.

Sometimes the process can face delays due to collating information and HMRC’s applications processing.

Probate timescale
Probate fees

Our fees

An initial consultation is free. Based on our review of the estate, we will give you a fixed fee as every estate has different assets and requirements.

We will also advise you of the disbursements or payments to other parties (such as valuers) which are not included in the fee quoted.

Should additional costs be incurred, due to unforeseen circumstances, we will advise you as soon as possible and agree the additional costs in advance of carrying out the additional work.

The following fees are a guide. Once we understand exactly what is required and the scope of the work to be undertaken, we will be able to provide you with a bespoke fee quote.

Administration of full estate

Simple estate

Our fees for a simple and straight forward estate typically range from £5,000 plus VAT. We would regard the following as a simple estate:

  • all assets are situated in the UK;
  • the deceased and beneficiaries are all UK resident and UK domiciled;
  • there’s a valid Will;
  • the estate has a single property and no more than two bank accounts;
  • there is no requirement to sell the property;
  • there are no other assets, such as, fine art or trust interests;
  • there are no legal claims made against the estate; and
  • no disputes between the executors or beneficiaries;

Administration of full estate:

Complex estate

Our fees for a complex estate range from £10,000 plus VAT. We would regard an estate having the following as a complex estate:

  • foreign interests and assets;
  • protracted correspondence with HMRC and other institutions;
  • claims to be made for tax reliefs;
  • sale and transfer of property;
  • interests held under trusts;
  • share and investment portfolios;
  • business interests;
  • post death planning and restructuring advice; and
  • untraced beneficiaries.

Administration of part of an estate:

Applying for grant of probate only

There are times when the executor requires us to apply for the Grant of Probate only. In this case our fees for obtaining the Grant with no further advice or administration required would be from £2,500 plus VAT.

Probate Expenses

Additional expenses 

The majority of estates would incur additional third-party fees. The following are general but not exhaustive*:

  • Probate fees – £273.00
  • Copy of the Grant – £1.50 (per copy)
  • Statutory notice advertisement fees – £96.00 (per estate)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges searches – £2.00 (per beneficiary)
  • Search of Wills registers – £126.00 (excl VAT)
  • Land Registry search fees (per property) – £3.00 (per property) 

*These fees are correct as of 05/04/2023

Our hourly rates

We prefer to charge a fixed fee for the administration of a deceased’s estate but there are times when we would charge our hourly rates if we are instructed to attend to additional probate work.

Hourly Rates (exclusive of VAT):
  • Trainees – from £85
  • Managers and Assistant Directors – from £255
  • Directors and Partners – from £370
Probate and Estates - Hourly Rates

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Regulatory & Complaints Information

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