Applying for probate is what you have to do if you want the legal right to someone's money and property after they have passed away. If the deceased person left a will, the person named as executor in the will must apply for a grant of probate. If no will was left, the deceased's next of kin must apply for a 'grant of letters of administration'. Both of these two processes together are generally known as applying for probate.
The first cost when applying for probate will be the fixed application fee which all applicants must pay. At the time of writing, there is no application fee for estates worth less than £5,000. For estates worth more than £5,000, applications will cost £155 if sent through a solicitor and £215 if you apply yourself. It'll also cost you an extra 50p per extra copy of the grant of probate, which you should request a few additional copies of.
It's worth knowing that the government has plans to rehaul probate application fees in the near future, in a fee hike which will see fixed application fees scrapped for properties worth under £50,000, with a rising fee rate for properties valued at over £50,000.
After the application fee, there will usually be further fees which depend on the estate you are applying for probate for. These fees can be broken down into:
- Insurance fees. During probate, properties require specialist home insurance to protect them during this difficult period. This is called probate home insurance.
- Valuation fees. Part of probate involves having an estate valued in order to determine how much inheritance may be payable.
- Brokerage fees. This is the fee you will pay your solicitor or broker for completing the probate application for you. Some solicitors charge fixed rate brokerage fees, while others will operate on the basis of the value of the estate.
In general, the more valuable the estate is that you're applying for probate for, the more expensive the total application costs will be. While the most cost-effective way to apply for probate is to do it yourself, many people choose to employ solicitors and to ensure it is done correctly and due to the sensitive and often quite upsetting process of applying oneself.
Applying for probate can be a complicated process which is difficult to face during a period of grief. For more information and advice about applying for probate, don't hesitate to contact us here at Bowsers Solicitors.
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