How much does probate cost?


Nov 4, 2014
How much does probate cost? The latest Sun Life Cost of Dying Report highlights that when it comes to paying for everything associated with the death of a loved one, probate could be one of the largest bills of all, accounting for around 36% of the total cost of dying which currently averages £8,427.

Unless a prepaid funeral plan is in place, choosing and purchasing funeral services at the time of need has to be the ultimate ‘distress’ purchase. Let’s face it, the family is likely to be in an extremely emotional state, possibly running on autopilot which isn’t the best frame of mind to negotiate anything of considerable cost.

The same could be said when securing probate services; after all shopping around to obtain the best deal is never usually high on anyone’s agenda when going through such an emotionally draining experience as the death of someone close.

In 2013 the average cost of probate was £2,160; a figure that has increased by a massive 39% over the last year, now averaging an eye watering £3,004. Rising house prices is mainly to blame for these soaring costs as most solicitors fees are charged based on a percentage of the overall value of the deceased’s estate; therefore the higher the house price, the higher the probate bill.
Yes that’s correct; for the same amount of work they get paid a lot more money!

It’s not difficult to see why an increasing number of people are choosing to administer the estate themselves; in fact 52% of people questioned in the Sun Life survey opted for a DIY job, sorting out the financial and legal affairs themselves which shows that with some time and effort it can be done.

However for those who either don’t have the time or don’t feel equipped to attempt estate administration, after all it can seem quite daunting; help is at hand as there are a number of companies who are now offering prepaid probate services.

In much the same way as you can pre-arrange your funeral with a prepaid funeral plan, you can now also pay a fixed fee at today’s prices and have a specialist company take care of your estate when the time comes, relieving the additional emotional and financial pressure from your family.

Whilst the Co-operative have added to their ‘later life’ planning services by offering probate services for a fixed fee, funeral plan giant Golden Charter now have prepaid probate services, so you can secure your services in advance at today’s prices.

Here at Over50choices we offer prepaid probate services through Lifetime Legal, the company that are behind the legal services of some very well known brands such as Which?, with fees starting from £699 depending on the complexity of your estate.

You can also get probate services from your bank, accountant and other new specialist services.

I appreciate that the thought of prepaid funerals, prepaid probate and making a Will aren’t the lightest topics of conversation but the harsh reality is that we are all at some stage going to die and that will inevitably leave a gap in our families life and to a greater or lesser degree, a whole heap of stress. The decision we all have to make is whether we want to remove as much of that stress as possible by putting plans in place in advance.

Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

ashley shepherd

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