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Probate & Estate Administration Services

When a loved one dies it can be a very distressing time, and dealing with the administration of their estate can seem overwhelming. Consequently, dealing with the paperwork and technicalities involved may be the last thing you want to do. We are here to help you, offering as much support and assistance as you need.

Our experienced lawyers will offer you the highest level of client care and value for money within our various estate administration services. We believe that you will find this invaluable and will give you peace of mind at an already difficult time. There are many ways in which we can help, such as:

  • assisting with the registration of the death or helping with funeral arrangements
  • sorting out the paperwork in the estate
  • advising on the meaning of the terms of the Will or the relevance of the intestacy rules if there is no Will
  • explaining the tax issues connected to the estate
  • helping with the sale of any property

How Can Ridley & Hall Probate Solicitors Help?

Our Pricing Structure

Fixed Fees for Grant Only

To give you an idea as to how much it will cost for us to carry out this work for you, we have tried to outline this for you below.

GRANT ONLY – this involves us assisting you just in obtaining the grant of representation to allow you to deal with the deceased’s assets and distribute the estate

Our grant only service includes:

  • Meeting to take initial instructions
  • Contacting the financial institutions for information on the value of assets where appropriate
  • Preparing the short form inheritance tax return IHT 205
  • Drafting the application for a grant
  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration and sealed copies

Fees start from £950 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements HOWEVER where estates include any of the following:

  • A search is required to locate the Will
  • Tracing beneficiaries of the estate
  • Where the deceased was domiciled abroad or there are foreign assets
  • If IHT 205 is not appropriate and IHT 400 is necessary
  • Transfer of unused nil rate band for Inheritance Tax
  • Claiming residence nil rate band for Inheritance Tax

Fixed fees for Full Estate Administration

Some clients prefer to know exactly what they will be charged from outset and unlike many solicitors who still charge exclusively on a hourly basis for this service, we are pleased to offer the following fixed fee options for dealing with the administration of estates. If suitable for your case, these fee options offer you the certainty of knowing from the outset exactly what we will charge.

Option 1

For estates up to £500,000

£3,950 plus VAT at 20%

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • No Inheritance tax due
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more 5 assets (including bank accounts/building society accounts and investments)
  • There are no foreign assets
  • There are no more than 5 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Option 2

For estates up to £1,000,000

£5,950 plus VAT at 20%

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • No inheritance tax due
  • No other complicating factors, such as lifetime trusts and/or gifts which would necessitate a full IHT400 declaration to HMRC
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more 10 assets (including bank accounts/building society accounts and investments)
  • There are no foreign assets
  • There are no more than 10 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Services not included in these costs:

  • Intestacy
  • Insuring assets or dealing with obtaining insurance.
  • Transfer or dealing with sale of property
  • Dealing with personal possessions
  • Dealing with a tax return on behalf the estate
  • Deed of Variation
  • Dealing with a business interest
  • Placing S.27 notices
  • Bankruptcy
  • Tracing
  • Missing Wills

Please note that it is only after we have obtained your detailed instructions that will be able to decide if we are able to offer you either of the above services. We are happy to have a free initial chat with you on the telephone with you to discuss this in further detail.

If your estate does not fall into either of the above options, we may still be able to offer you a fixed fee in certain circumstances and we will be happy to discuss this with you. The more complicated the estate, the less likely it is that we will be able to offer you a fixed fee.

Full Estate Administration – Hourly Rate

If your matter does not fit into either of the above categories, our probate solicitors at Ridley & Hall are still able to assist you with the Estate Administration on an hourly rate basis.


Where you want us to assist you with more than just obtaining the grant of representation on your behalf, and you want help dealing with the other aspect of the estate like gathering in the assets, paying the debts of the estate and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries, we will undertake this work for you on a time spent basis – so you pay for the time we spend carrying out the work on your matter. The hourly charge out rates vary between our professionals who will be assisting with your file.

Solicitors, Legal Executives & Licensed Conveyancers £200.00 to £360.00
Paralegals & Trainee Solicitors  £160.00 to £220.00

We like to be as open and honest about costs as we can, but it can often be difficult to tell exactly how long it will take to administer an estate at the very beginning, as unforeseen issues can present themselves during the administration period. We will however do our very best to give you an accurate costs estimate at the outset (although this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout our time working with you and we do reserve the right to amend our estimate). If our fees are going to increase, we will discuss this with you before proceeding any further. No two estates are the same, so the estimated fees we provide will be specific to your circumstances for example the number of assets there are, the number of beneficiaries there are, whether or not there are any properties within the estate etc. All of these factors can affect how long it will take to administer the estate.



Example 1

Administration of a simple estate

Administration of a simple estate – this can take between 15 and 30 hours, depending on individual circumstances

Typically, this service will include:

  • Meeting with you to take instructions
  • Valuing all the assets in the estate
  • Arranging payment of the funeral costs
  • Liaising with utility companies
  • Preparing the short form inheritance tax return IHT 205
  • Drafting the application for the grant
  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (depending on whether there is a valid Will or not) and sealed copies
  • Collecting in the assets
  • Paying any known debts and liabilities
  • Reclaiming income tax
  • Arranging payment of all the legacies
  • Preparing estate accounts
  • Distributing the estate between the beneficiaries

Fees start from £4500 plus VAT at 20% – but they are likely to be more than this.

If, for example, an estate has a small number of bank accounts, one beneficiary and no property, our fees will be towards the lower end of this scale, but if there are lots of beneficiaries, a house to sell and various assets to gather in and debts to settle, it will be towards the upper end.

Example 2

Administration of a larger / more complex estate

Administration of a larger / more complex estate – this is likely to take more than 30 hours of work to complete

Typically, these estates will include the same service as for a small estate and may also involve:

  • The deceased was domiciled abroad or the estate comprises foreign assets
  • Dealing with multiple properties within an estate
  • Business assets
  • Agricultural assets
  • Undertaking a will search
  • Identifying the beneficiaries in the estate
  • Preparation of IHT 400 (the more complicated Inheritance Tax form required by HMRC) and its accompanying schedules
  • Claiming the residence nil rate band
  • Application for the transfer of Inheritance Tax nil rate band
  • Completion of income tax returns
  • Capital gains tax advice and returns
  • Trusts

How Long Does Probate Take?

  • Below is guidance on how long a typical estate takes to complete. Please note however that timescales can vary, and much will depend on the complexity of each estate. We will therefore give you a more accurate indication, based upon the information you provide.
  • On average, estates where there is no inheritance tax to pay are dealt with within 18 months, and taxable estates typically take between 18 and 24 months to complete.


Disbursements are payments made by us to third parties on your behalf, for example:

  • Court fees for probate applications – £300
  • Sealed copies of the grant – £1.50
  • Placing s27 notices in newspapers (this protects Executors from unknown creditors) – £200 to £350
  • Bankruptcy searches – £2.00 plus VAT at 20%

This list is indicative, and not exhaustive. We may also ask for payment of disbursements on account.

We must also advise you that where there is a property (or properties) to sell in the estate, that the conveyancing costs will be charged in addition to the estate administration fees. The sale fees are NOT included within our estimates. Quotes for the sale of the property can be given by our colleagues in the conveyancing department, and we can help you to obtain this.

Also, if the Directors of Ridley and Hall are appointed as the Executors of an estate there will be an additional charge applied to reflect the risks and responsibilities associated with our appointment. This charge would be 1% of the gross value of the estate, excluding the residence, plus 0.5% of the value of the residence if it is held in the sole name of the deceased and 0.25% of the value of the residence where it is held in joint names. This is based on usual probate practice and we can explain how it will apply in your case.

Our People

Thomas Grice

Head of Department,
Tom is a solicitor who joined Ridley & Hall in May 2021. Tom has joined Ridley & Hall from a multi discipline firm in Wakefield, having previously worked in Knaresborough and at a nationwide firm in Wakefield.  Previous to this Tom undertook his Law Degree at the University of Bradford and the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School, achieving a Distinction....

Hannah Pedley

Associate Solicitor
Hannah is an Affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is undergoing further qualification in pursuit of attaining her full membership and becoming a recognised Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP). She has handled a variety of different matters and the feedback received from clients has always been extremely positive....
Chloe Aston headshot

Chloe Aston

South Elmsall Team Leader
Chloe is a highly qualified lawyer with a passion for serving Wills & Probate clients. Building strong and lasting relationships with her clients is at the heart of her practice. She prioritises understanding their unique needs and providing tailored legal solutions with a friendly and professional manner....

Deborah Kaye

Associate Solicitor
Deborah Kaye joined the firm’s Private Client Team in July 2019, to contribute to the growth of that department. She brings with her a wealth of experience, having worked in this area of the law for over 20 years. Deborah previously had strong connections in the Holme Valley where she practised for many years and has welcomed the opportunity to work again in Huddersfield, having spent a few years working for a large multi-discipline firm in Bradford most recently....

Andrew Gullett

Andrew qualified as a Solicitor in 2001 and has specialised in older client law since 2005. He is delighted to have joined our Private Client Team in Huddersfield in October 2021, having previously worked at a small firm in Wakefield...

Victoria Jones

Victoria achieved a First Class M Law (Exempting) degree at Northumbria University. Whilst at university, Victoria was a student adviser at Northumbria University’s Student Law Office, providing detailed legal advice to members of the public under solicitor supervision. Prior to commencing her final year at University, Victoria completed a short internship working with a law firm in Singapore....
Lucy Pickles

Lucy Pickles

Lucy is a solicitor in the Wills and Probate department. Lucy jointed joined Ridley & Hall Solicitors in August 2018 as a Paralegal and was admitted to the roll of solicitors in October 2021....
Sophie Aldridge

Sophie Aldridge

Trainee Solicitor
Sophie achieved a First-Class degree in Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2020, for which she also achieved the Criminology Award for the highest overall grade on the course. Following this, Sophie achieved a distinction on the Graduate Diploma in Law, was awarded the prize for the highest overall grade on the course, together with the prize for the highest grade in Property Law. Sophie is now studying the Legal Practice Course before training to become a solicitor....

Ann Silver

Personal Assistant
Ann Silver is Personal Assistant to the firm’s Private Client Team. She joined Ridley & Hall in 1999 and over the years she has helped many hundreds of clients through the Will making process and supported many more through the distress of the death of a loved one and the Probate process...
Holly Thurlbeck Headshot

Holly Thurlbeck

Holly works in the private client team at Barnsley where she assists with Wills, Lasting powers of Attorneys and Estate administration....