Probate. Our step by step guide for you.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of dealing with the property, money and possessions, known as the ‘estate’, of someone who has died.

Our blog What is probate and how does it work? is a useful read if you are looking for more information on Probate.  


What is the process of Probate? 

If there is a will in place, a vital part of the probate process is locating it, so that the executors of the estate and the wishes of the deceased are known. If you’ve written your will with us, that part is easy! The next step is to apply for the grant of probate. This process requires obtaining up to date valuations of all the assets held in the estate, completion of inheritance tax forms, and preparing a legal statement for the probate registry. 

Once probate has been granted, estate accounts will be required detailing all the receipts and outgoing payments during the final administration period, so that the final distributions can be made. If there is no will in place, the rules of intestacy must be followed, which can be a lengthy process and requires Letters of Administration, as opposed to a grant of probate.

We are licensed and authorised to carry out the reserved legal activity on non-contentious probate in England and Wales by the ICAEW.

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How much do our Probate Services cost?

Tailored for you, where there is a valid will, we offer a fixed fee service depending on the level of assistance you require, and complexity of the estate:

Simply Probate. For small, non-taxable estates and where all pre-application administration (e.g. valuations, notifying banks, cancelling or transferring contracts) has been dealt with by you, and you simply want us to apply for probate, our fixed fee is £1,750 plus VAT.

Together Probate. With your involvement, and our help and assistance with estate administration when needed, our fixed fees range up to £7,500 plus VAT.

If your probate case is significantly more complex, and you will be involved in estate administration, or you require complete support throughout, our fees will be based on the following service plans:

Together Probate+. Working together on more complex cases, we will share our value based on time spent using up to date hourly rates. Please contact us to find out more.

Complete Probate. For complex cases completely managed by us from start to finish, the value of our fees will be based on time spent using up to date hourly rates.

With Together Probate+ and Complete Probate, we will try to give you an indication of our likely fees in advance, but this is not always possible.

With all our service plans, disbursements are not included and will be charged in addition to the agreed fees. Probate fees are settled by the estate, which may also include for example, backdated tax compliance and assessments required for probate.

For any future planning and structuring project work performed, such fees are not settled by the estate and will form part of a separate engagement.

How long will it take?

This will depend on the level of complexity of the estate and the availability of the required records and information.

Our timescales are very much dependant on third party timescales, such as banks, and the Probate Registry.

As a guide, you can expect the following likely timescales:

Simply Probate & Together Probate.

Four to six months.


Together Probate + Complete Probate.

Six to twelve months.


''Charlton Baker helped me secure probate and finalise my mother's estate, which was handled professionally and efficiently - and at much more reasonable costs than the bank wanted to charge.


Having a knowledgeable and friendly local firm to take care of everything made things much easier for us, at an already difficult time’'


Richard W, Wiltshire

Can I appoint you to deal with my final estate administration?

At Charlton Baker, we provide expert probate services across Devizes, Bath and Trowbridge. 

We can provide as much support and assistance needed in order to obtain probate.

Along with our specialist tax knowledge, we can advise on all aspects of inheritance tax and complete all forms required.

For additional and important service transparency information in relation to our probate services, please refer to our Client Services Probate Guide.

Who should I contact to find out more?

You can email our Legal Services team or call us on 01380 723692

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