How much are solicitors' probate fees?

Abbie Kingdon

Some solicitors charge a percentage of the estate for dealing with probate. Others will charge for the time they actually spend, which we think is fairer.

When a solicitor deals with the administration of the estate of a deceased person, this is often known as going through probate. The fees that solicitors charge for this work differs considerably depending upon how the solicitors calculate the value of the work they have done.

A recent case highlighting a solicitor overcharging for dealing with an estate, illustrates how important it is for all parties to be clear about how legal fees will be paid at the very outset of a matter, and even before that, when a will is being drawn up. 

A solicitor, Mr Greenman, had agreed to administer the estate of the deceased for a fee of 3% of the value of the estate. When he came to bill, he charged the deceased's estate with a fee of 20% of the estate value, which represented an over charge of over £75,000.

Mr Greenman was struck off the roll of solicitors and was ordered to pay costs.

There has been a growing trend in recent years for solicitors' firms to charge a percentage of the deceased's estate, rather than charging for the work they have actually done. At Samuels Solicitors, based in North Devon, we do not agree with this charging structure and will only ever charge for the work actually done on the matter. We are probate experts, and can assist you with every step that needs to be undertaken.

If you are worried that the estate of a loved one has been overcharged for legal services, contact us today for a free no obligation discussion about how we can help.