Wills, trusts, & probate

The creation of a will is an important process; it’s essential so that you can ensure that property and possessions are handled in accordance with your wishes. 

Amongst all of the matters which are considered in the preparation of a will or discretionary trust, we have a robust level of experience and proven attention to detail. We also offer clear and concise advice for inheritance tax liability and can assist with cases involving monetary gifts or the appointment of guardians.

The loss of a loved one can be an emotional time for many people. Bates, Wells & Braithwaite is committed to an efficient service, helping to ease the process for you and your family. 

Our services in the administration of estates are available to assist you throughout the process; including obtaining a Grant of Probate and  Letters of Administration and the distribution of the estate’s assets. For further information on the probate process, please continue reading below.

Download our information sheet on making a will


Applying for the grant and distributing the assets

If you require assistance with obtaining a Grant only, we anticipate this will take between 3 and 6 hours of work at £275 per hour plus VAT (currently 20%). Total costs are estimated at £825 to £1650 plus VAT (currently 20%) depending on how much preliminary work you need us to do on your behalf.

If you require assistance with applying for the Grant followed by collecting and distributing the assets, we anticipate this will take between 6 hours (for a straightforward administration) and up to 50 hours for a more complicated estate (e.g. which might involve stocks and shares, trust arrangements, property issues, tax issues, multiple bank accounts etc.). 

The likely range of costs at £275 per hour is therefore between £1650 and £13750 plus VAT (charged at 20%). On average our costs in relation to applying for the Grant followed by collecting and distributing the assets, are around £4,000 to £5000 plus VAT at 20%.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property, and multiple bank accounts – or no will – then costs will likely be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you.

The lower quote would apply where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 5 banks or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 2-5 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Probate application fee of £273 (no VAT). 

Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)

Approximately £310 plus VAT at 20% to post in The London Gazette and local newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 pence (no VAT)

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are likely to be concluded within 8-14 months dependent upon the Probate Registry. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 4 to 8 months. Collecting assets then follows, which may take a further 3 to 8 months. Once this has been done, we can provide accounts and distribute the assets, which normally takes approximately 1 month.

As part of our service, we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate fee earner to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Pay Inheritance Tax (if required)
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft the Legal Statement
  • Make the online and postal applications to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and send a copy to you
  • Complete tax returns (if required)
  • Prepare a set of Estate Accounts
  • Collect and distribute all the assets in the estate

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