Probate generally refers to obtaining ‘Grant of Representation’ required by law when someone dies where they owned property or land or where a bank or financial institution requires a ‘Grant’ to release any funds.

A ‘Grant of Probate’ must be obtained before an Executor (if there is a Will) or a ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’ by an Administrator (generally when there is no Will) can start to gather in and distribute the assets associated with the estate of the deceased.

We will work with you to apply for the correct Grant and can help with the formalities of the estate following the receipt of the Grant on your behalf (Administering the Estate).

Key Stages

Applying for a Grant of Representation

Services that are included in obtaining a Grant of Representation

  • Initial interview to advise on the deceased’s Will/intestacy provisions
  • Discuss role of Executors/Administrators
  • Discuss method of collating information regarding assets and liabilities of the deceased
  • Consideration of the availability of the Transferable Nil Rate Band and Residence Nil Rate Band and the documentation needed to claim if appropriate to calculate whether Inheritance Tax is payable
  • Identify whether there are any reliefs/allowances available to reduce Inheritance Tax and the information the Revenue will require to consider the claim for the relief/allowance
  • Prepare Inheritance Tax forms
  • Prepare Oath for Executors/Administrators and meet with you to go through these
  • Submit application for a Grant of Representation

Administering the Estate

Services included in dealing with the formalities after receiving the Grant of Representation

  • Collect in the assets due to the estate
  • Pay liabilities and administration expenses of the estate
  • Ascertain the deceased’s Income Tax position
  • Deal with any correspondence from the Revenue regarding information reported in the Inheritance Tax form
  • Planning payment of any Inheritance Tax due
  • Correspond with beneficiaries regarding distributions from the estate and pay legacies and interim distributions as instructed
  • Prepare estate accounts
  • Bankruptcy checks
  • Pay final balance to beneficiaries

Subsequent Work (NOT included in obtaining a Grant of Representation)

These services potentially trigger an increase in our fixed fees, which will be discussed with you as and when these matters arise

  • Property sales
  • Tracing beneficiaries
  • Work in connection with related trusts
  • Deeds of Variation
  • Business or farming advice
  • Advice in relation to assets/liabilities out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales
  • Trusts set up under the deceased’s Will
  • Financial advice regarding the disposal of assets in the future
  • Issues relating to long term care or care packages of the deceased
  • Challenges to the validity of a Will
  • Claims against the estate
  • Issues relating to the domiciled status of the deceased
  • Anything else not specifically agreed


We offer fixed fees which reflect the service that is required and the complexity of work needed. If any complexities arise which might increase costs (such as those outlined above) we will always discuss this with you and provide you with cost options.

Applying for Grant of Representation
Grant only £550 + VAT
Grant and Transferable Nil Rate Band IHT 217 £650 + VAT
Grant and full IHT account £1,000 + VAT
Administering an Estate
Up to 20 hours £3,250 + VAT
Up to 25 hours £4,500 + VAT
Up to 30 hours £6,000 + VAT
Hourly Rates
Consultants and Solicitors £225 + VAT per Hour
Paralegals £100 + VAT per Hour

If it is not appropriate to offer a fixed fee in your case, then our charges may fall within our hourly rate. An estimate of these costs will be provided during our initial consultation prior to undertaking any work on your behalf.


The following disbursements are commonly incurred when administering an estate:

Probate Registry Fee £273
Copies of Grant £1.50
Land Registry Title £3-£6 per property
Bankruptcy search fees £1 per name, per search

Our Specialist Team

Our experienced probate team are on hand to give you the expert advice you need. Call our experts on 0191 5009337 or click the button to email.

Geoff Laws

Geoff Laws


Laura Fenwick

Laura Fenwick

Associate and Head of Whickham Branch