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Can Probate Fees be Paid From the Estate?

How much does probate cost?

The cost for obtaining a Grant of Probate is £273 for all applications, except those where the estate is £5,000 or less, where there is no fee to pay. In addition to this cost, you might choose to request that a professional applies on your behalf in order to deal with the complexities. Whilst some providers like Complete Estate Protection offer a fixed fee, solicitors or other bodies might work on time and expense prices or charge a percentage of the estate, which could turn in to an expensive bill.

Can probate fees be paid from the estate?

The probate application fee can be paid immediately online or via cheque (if applying by post) and then taken from the estate later. Similarly, if a professional is undertaking the work on your behalf, the Executor or Administrator can claim back the cost from the estate.

If an executor does not want to accrue all the costs, an Executor bank account can be set up using the estate’s funds so that they do not have to pay any upfront fees themselves. However, this depends on the amount of money in the estate and the deceased’s bank, and you may need the Grant of Probate before paying out any estate expenses from the deceased’s funds.

Can money be paid out of the estate before probate is granted?

Although there are some exceptions, the estate should usually never be paid out until the Executor has a Grant of Probate. However, if probate is not required, paying beneficiaries should still be one of the last tasks the Personal Representative undertakes. This is to ensure all debts and liabilities are paid from the estate first. It is usually possible to pay the funeral bill from the estate before probate is granted.

Executors should also advertise in a local paper in case there are other unknown beneficiaries to the estate, for a minimum of two months, after which the estate can be distributed as planned. If this is done, it means that there has been ample opportunity for unknowns to come forward and saves potential difficulties later down the line.

What other expenses can be deducted from the estate?

When acting as Executor or Administrator, reasonable expenses can be claimed back from the estate. Reasonable expenses are those paid by the Executor during estate administration which are unavoidable and can be confirmed as necessary to the estate/its beneficiaries. These may include:

  • Valuation services
  • The cost of clearing the property
  • Legal fees for property sale
  • Travel expenses
  • Inheritance Tax fees
  • Other legal fees

Expenses must be reasonable and accounted for, as other beneficiaries may contest anything that was not absolutely necessary.

When can the Executor pay beneficiaries?

Once all debts have been settled and assets accounted for, the Executor can then begin the process of paying out the estate to the beneficiaries. At this stage, any expenses can be reimbursed.

The Executor or Administrator should make it clear to all beneficiaries as to what has been spent and what has been taken off the final inheritance in order to cover expenses.

What help is available to Executors?

There are certain estate funding products that are available to help Executors cover the costs involved with probate and estate administration.

Instructing a professional that can provide a fixed, upfront cost not only assures you that you will not be charged any unexpected fees, but it also means that you can hand over the complex matters to an expert.

Here at Complete Estate Protection, we can provide a Grant of Probate for a set fixed fee, taking all of the complicated undertakings on your behalf. Additionally, we provide a full range of specialist estate solutions, such as completing the full estate administration on your behalf if needed.

If you would like us to do this on your behalf, please contact us on 01642 493101 or email