Our Services

Probate & Intestacy

Applying for a Grant of Probate

When someone dies then the executors of their Will are responsible for collecting the estate in and distributing it in accordance with the Will. Executors are formally appointed, by the deceased in their Will.

An application for a Grant of Probate essentially means that the Will is considered and “proved” and the Court then issue a document called a Grant of Probate which lists the Executor or Executors and gives an overall value of the estate.

You do not always need a Grant of Probate and this really depends upon the size of the estate and whether there is property to transfer or sell. As a general rule, the more the estate comprises of, the more likely it is that you will need a Grant of Probate, but we would always advise you of your options at the outset and whether one is absolutely necessary.

You have to complete an inheritance tax form when applying for Probate, either by way of a document called an IHT 205 or a full inheritance tax return on the IHT 400 forms. We can assist you with all of this and our Solicitors are highly experienced in drafting these documents and ensuring that they are accurate and correct.

At the same time these documents are prepared, we shall draft the PA1P form which is the application for the Grant of Probate. These are all then lodged, together with the death certificate and the original Will, at the closest District Probate Registry to you.

It usually takes the District Probate Registry 2 – 3 months to process and complete the application. It can often take a number of months to value the assets and estate prior to lodging the application with the registry and therefore you can generally expect that the process of extracting a Grant of Probate can often take between 6 – 9 months and as a very general guide. Sometimes it can take longer if there are complicated issues to contend with or ascertaining the extent of the estate is more complicated.

Applying for Letters of Administration

If the deceased hasn`t made a Will then the closest relative will need to be approved by the High Court as a Personal Representative of the estate. When you die without a Will this is known as dying “intestate” and the rules of intestacy apply.

The rules of intestacy provide an ordered list as to which family members can apply to administer the estate, and be appointed as the personal representative. They also provide an order as to who is to inherit.

Often intestacy matters tend to involve more time because a Will has to be searched for and it must be certain, as far as is possible, that there isn`t a Will. This is important, because if a Will is later uncovered it can severely delay matters because the wrong steps will have been taken.

Our Probate Solicitors / Costs

All of our Probate Solicitors are highly experienced and able to act upon behalf of the estate in order to administer the same.

Some Solicitors firms and banks charge a percentage of the estate for dealing with the administration of an estate. Here at Laker Legal Solicitors we believe that approach to be unfair and disproportionate. The firm`s fees are determined upon the complexity of the estate and not the size of the estate.

The firm`s national hourly charging rates are set at a maximum of £300 + VAT and that rate is for our most experienced Solicitors. Our practitioner’s hourly charging rates range between £175 – £300 + VAT depending upon their individual levels of experience.

An uncontested straightforward Probate matter with all assets in the UK (requiring form IHT205) will usually be completed within 6 – 12 months. More complex estates usually take between 12 – 18 months to complete. These timescales are estimates and upon the basis that the matter does not become delayed due to protracted property transactions, such as the delayed sale of a house, for example. We keep all of our clients appraised of their matter at all times and provide updates throughout their matter accordingly at the relevant times.

The exact cost will ultimately depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.  By way of example if there are only 1 or 2 Beneficiaries, a limited number of bank accounts, a straight forward tax return (on form IHT205) and no house sale then legal fees would range approximately between £1,500 – £2,500 + Vat.  If there is a house sale then conveyancing would be in addition.

A more complicated uncontested administration of an estate (involving a full inheritance tax return) would usually cost between £3,000 – £5,000 + Vat, depending upon the level of assets and complexity of the matter. This is a guide only and a detailed estimate will be provided to you upon request to take account the individual circumstance of your case. Our charges guidance would be in addition to the below disbursements, (disbursements are expenses your solicitor pays on your behalf and is then charged out to you).

  • Probate Court : If the estate is below £5,000 : Nil ; if over £5,000 : £273 (which will apply in most cases).
  • £1.50 for each office copy of the Grant required (1 per asset usually)
  • If applicable to your case – possible fees for Trustee Act Notices in the London and Local Gazette– usually range between £200 – £400 + Vat
  • Telegraphic Bank Transfer Fees when we are sending monies £35.00 + VAT
  • £25.00 plus VAT – ID verification charge.
  • Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department search (£2.00 per individual)
  • This is on the basis there are no claims or challenges against the estate.


We may be able to provide a Fixed Fee following consideration of the complexity of the estate and overall case. In the event we are able to offer you a fixed fee then we will:

  • Provide you with a fully qualified Probate Solicitor to handle your matter. This either be a Director of the firm or another Solicitor who will be supervised by a Director.
  • 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
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Make the application to the District Probate Registry
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all the assets in the estate

Please contact us today to see how we can assist you and your family at this difficult time, 


What our clients say...

Best conveyancing experience ever. After two supposedly good law firms failed to even do the basics post instruction, for nearly 8 weeks, Jess at Laker Legal took on the difficult challenge of overseeing my purchase and completion in record time. Always proactive, very knowledgeable of her subject and extremely good communicator. I never had to chase the firm for anything. They always answered my calls efficiently. I can't praise them enough. What a wonderful experience.

I recommend Jess and would be very happy to use her again in the future.

Mrs A, Lancaster.

I used the services of Jess and the team at Laker Legal as a first time buyer looking for properties to buy, near and around Bath.

Jess was fantastic, in her communication during the process as well as her knowledge and ability during the conveyancing process. She helped me make informed decisions and ultimately find and purchase a wonderful home near Bath. Jess is adept at spotting potential issues during a purchase that I believe others may not.

She clearly excels at her craft and you will be in safe hands should you use her services too.


Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

Mr T, Lancaster

Thank you for all your help and support over the last 12 months. You and the team at Laker Legal have been fantastic.
Sarah was lovely and really supportive yesterday.

Ms. W of Leyland

A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

Mrs R – West Malling, Kent

I am very pleased with Laker Legal firm, my Solicitor John Hirst, was extremely helpful throughout the drawing of my prenuptial agreement. A very professional and knowledgeable approach yet warm,and friendly enough to feel comfortable with in a situation that can be quite uncanny to discuss or uneasy as per say. Thankyou again!

Mrs V – London

I can highly recommend John Hirst at Laker Legal solicitors in Lancaster. He was superb from start to finish dealing with a very complex child arrangements case for me. A really decent guy and an excellent family law solicitor who genuinely cares about his clients. John was fully up to speed with my case at all times and we got the outcome we wanted.

Mr B, Kendal

Thank you so much Richard, you have been so kind and patient with me when I have been at about the lowest point of my life after losing my wife, I can never thank you enough. I will also let my family know my wishes that Laker Legal Solicitors deal with my estate when that time comes.

Mr Y, Addington, Kent.

A devastating event brought us to call on Laker Legal. We were put in touch with Mr John Hirst, and from the first moment we spoke to him we knew everything was going to be ok. Mr John Hirst, was always on the end of the Phone or Email, Kept in touch with us 100% of the time, and the support we received took so much pain off our family. All i can say is Thank you so much for everything you did for us.

Ms P - Maidstone

Our Team

With over 100 years of experience in legal practice we are the solicitors for you.

Legal Services You Can Trust