Specialist Probate Solicitors

We understand that dealing with the death of a loved one is an emotional time; you do not want to be burdened with dealing with the estate. Our specialist probate solicitors based at our offices in Surrey can help take the stress away by helping you to deal with the legal issues, whether that is offering advice and support, or dealing with the probate for you.

Here at Hart Brown, our probate specialist solicitors work hard to go above and beyond throughout this difficult time.

Our wills and probate lawyers will give you all of the information you require to apply for a grant of probate and we can even help you complete the forms if required. Once the grant of probate has been obtained the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will. If you are an executor to the will, we can also advise you of your powers, duties, and responsibilities.

If someone has died without a will, the rules of intestacy will apply. Our specialist probate solicitors can advise you in a clear and simple way on what the rules are and the actions you will need to take. When issues arise with missing beneficiaries, our probate solicitors are also able to help you track them down.

You may be thinking, ‘Do I need probate solicitors even for a small estate?’. We advise that it can be beneficial and make the process smoother if you do. It is understandable to have questions about wills and probate and our local probate solicitors are on hand to answer any that you may have.

Get in contact today to speak to an expert team of specialist probate solicitors further on 01483 887766, email us or contact us via live chat.

Our Fees

Our probate fees:

When it comes to probate, no two estates are the same, and the level of help and advice that each client requires will vary. We therefore adopt a very flexible approach and at the outset, we offer an initial meeting during which time we will establish the nature of the work we are required to do and likewise the extent of the work that the executors wish to undertake themselves.

We can deal with the registration of the death and arrange the funeral if required.  We can also oversee security matters, visiting the property to obtain details of assets, arrange valuations and the sale/transfer of a property or other assets.

Our team:

We have a highly skilled team of lawyers who specialise in probate work.  You will have the benefit of one dedicated and experienced lawyer working on your matter throughout the process. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Louise Harrhy, Partner and Head of the Trusts and Estates Department. You can view the members of our team, their qualifications and experience and see who could be working on your matter by clicking on the staff profiles at the bottom of this page.

We are required to publish the details of our prices for probate work in relation to uncontested cases where all of the assets are in the UK. This includes both estates where the deceased has left a will and those where the deceased has died without leaving a will (intestate) and this covers both taxable and non-taxable estates.

We aim to deal with the work up to the issue of the grant on a fixed fee basis and the work thereafter (in dealing with the administration of the estate) will be scoped for on the basis of hourly rates and a clear estimate will be provided. If it is possible to provide a fixed fee at that point, we will do so.

Please remember that the costs for dealing with administration of the estate will be paid from the estate.

Hourly rates:

The hourly rates of the members of the team range from £306 including VAT at 20% for a newly qualified solicitor, to £432 including VAT at 20% for our Head of Department. These rates are reviewed on an annual basis in April.

Cost estimates and fixed fees:

We will always give you a cost estimate or fixed fee at the start of the process as the price will be determined by a number of factors such as:

  • the nature and number of the assets in the estate;
  • the number of beneficiaries;
  • whether or not there is a valid will;
  • whether or not there is inheritance tax payable;
  • whether or not we are required to claim transferable tax allowances;
  • whether or not we are required to establish the asset and liability values and notify parties of the death;
  • whether or not the deceased made gifts within the last 7 years of their life;
  • whether or not there are any aggregated trust assets; and
  • whether or not there are specific or cash legacies to be dealt with.

We will always advise immediately of any complications and discuss the impact on price (offering a fixed fee where appropriate) before any additional charges are incurred.

An example of a fixed fee:

By way of example, our Head of Department’s fees for dealing with the administration of a relatively straightforward estate (which includes obtaining the grant, collecting the assets and distributing them) would be £7,506 including VAT at 20% + disbursements (which are the costs related to the matter and paid to third parties by us on behalf of our client, but for which our client is responsible).

In this example, there would be:

  • a valid will;
  • no residential property;
  • no more than seven bank or building society accounts;
  • no interest in another estate;
  • six beneficiaries;
  • lifetime gifts to be declared by the executors;
  • a claim for the transferable nil rate band;
  • no inheritance tax (IHT) payable but a need to submit a full account to HMRC;
  • no claims made against the estate;
  • no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets; and
  • no requirement for us to register the death or arrange the funeral.

We would undertake to do the following:

  • accurately identify the type of probate application required;
  • ascertain the full extent of the assets and liabilities of the estate and obtain date of death values by correspondence with the relevant organisations;
  • notify parties relevant to the administration of the death;
  • complete the HM Revenue & Customs form IHT400 and supplementary pages;
  • prepare the legal statement and arrange for the executors to sign it;
  • make the online probate application to the Probate Registry and lodge it;
  • obtain the grant of probate and register the grant with the relevant organisations and deal with the closure of the bank and building society accounts;
  • pay all outstanding bills and expenses;
  • prepare a full and final set of estate accounts;
  • deal with the tax for the administration period;
  • prepare the necessary statements of income from estates and circulate these; and
  • obtain the executors’ approval to the estate accounts and distribute the estate according to the will.

The disbursements in this example would consist of the following:

  • probate application fee of £273 and three office copies at £5.40 including VAT at 20% (£278.40);
  • bankruptcy searches for a UK beneficiaries, £2.40 including VAT at 20%.

Other disbursements you could expect to pay in addition to a fixed fee would include:

  • unclaimed asset register search, £186 including VAT at 20%;
  • Certainty search, £58.80 including VAT at 20%;
  • bankruptcy search for an overseas beneficiary, from £82.80 including VAT at 20%;
  • chattels valuation fees, from £240-£600 including VAT at 20%;
  • property valuation fees from £300-£900 including VAT at 20%;
  • money transfer fees to UK banks, £18 including VAT at 20% for BACS and £54.00 including VAT at 20% for same day transfer;
  • money transfer fees to overseas banks £72 including VAT at 20%;
  • land registry fees £3.60 including VAT at 20%; and
  • our administration fee for customer due diligence of £24 (per client) including VAT at 20%.

What we are expected to undertake:

The work we would be expected to undertake in providing advice and assistance in relation to the administration of an estate would be as follows, to:

  • establish the relevant facts;
  • gather relevant documents for the application for the grant of representation (i.e. grant of probate or grant of letters of administration);
  • notify parties, relevant to the administration of the estate, of the death;
  • obtain date of death values of assets and liabilities;
  • deal with any pre-grant inheritance tax formalities;
  • draft an Inheritance Tax form if necessary and if not, prepare a statement of assets and liabilities for the probate application;
  • prepare the legal statement and probate application;
  • lodge the application for a grant of representation with the Probate Registry;
  • deal with all debtors and creditors of the estate once a grant of representation has been issued;
  • cash in assets that are to be liquidated;
  • discharge administration expenses;
  • arrange for the satisfaction of any specific (i.e. items) and cash legacies;
  • produce estate accounts for the approval of the personal representatives (i.e. the executors or the administrators) and beneficiaries;
  • distribute the estate in accordance with the will/intestacy rules; and
  • advise the personal representatives in connection with the above.

Where we are working under a fixed fee arrangement, if the estate is more complicated than usual for its size, or if there are assets or liabilities that later come to light or the estate is larger than you have told us, it is likely that we will have to charge separately for dealing with the additional work. 

It is also possible that issues will arise from time to time which we do not regard as being part of the normal administration work of an estate.  When they arise, we usually refer them to colleagues who are experts in their own field or to an external expert, such as a barrister or an accountant.

Examples of such work that cannot be included in a fixed fee are:

  • legal work regarding a property sale or purchase;
  • work regarding a claim made by the Department of Work and Pensions relating to the deceased’s state benefits;
  • work regarding the deceased’s pre-death tax affairs;
  • work regarding the estate’s income tax and capital gains tax affairs (CGT) during the estate administration period including registration on TRS and separate CGT reporting;
  • work regarding negotiation with HMRC (including with the Share and Asset Valuation (SAV) department) or the District Valuer following submission of the IHT account;
  • work connected with a deceased’s membership of Lloyds underwriters;
  • work regarding assets and liabilities that come to light after the fixed fee figure was provided;
  • work resulting from alternative arrangements created by a deed of variation in relation to the estate;
  • work involved in dealing with any contentious issues, including issues between personal representatives and issues between beneficiaries and personal representatives, whether or not involving actual litigation;
  • work in relation to the foreign element of an estate;
  • investigative work involved with ascertaining any gifts made by the deceased during their lifetime; and
  • work in dealing with genealogists and/or tracing agents and ascertaining the identity of beneficiaries and beneficial interests.

If any such issue arises a quote will be given for any of the additional work.  Where possible, that quote will be a further fixed fee.


As to likely timescales and stages, the process for dealing with the administration of an estate can be broken down into stages as follows:

  • establishing the values of the assets and liabilities;
  • preparing the IHT form or statement of assets and liabilities for the probate application if no IHT form is required;
  • paying the IHT and applying for the grant;
  • on receipt of the grant, calling in the assets, settling the debts, legacies and any outstanding tax due;
  • preparing the estate accounts and dealing with the tax for the administration period; and
  • distributing the assets in accordance with the terms of the will/rules of intestacy.

On average, you might expect the grant of probate to take between 6 and 12 months to obtain and the rest of the administration might take a further 6 to 18 months depending on the complexity of the estate. The estate cannot be dealt with until all claims to it have been received. Individuals have 6 months from the date when probate was granted to make claims against the estate.

* Last updated October 2023

Who to contact

Jordan Page- Trusts & Estates

Jordan Page

Associate, Trusts & Estates

Jordan Page- Trusts & Estates

Associate, Trusts & Estates

Jordan Page

Jordan is an Associate Solicitor with more than 5 years' post-qualified experience, specialising in Wills, lasting powers of attorney and the administration of trusts and estates. He is based in the Trusts & Estates department in Guildford.

Jordan studied law at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2013. Whilst completing his LPC on a part time basis, Jordan worked in the firm’s quality and compliance department as the firm’s Chief Internal Auditor, before commencing his training contract in April 2016.

Having previously undertaken trainee roles in the Family and Residential Property departments, Jordan qualified into the Trust & Estates department where he completed his training.

What does Jordan regard as his specialism?

"The administration of estates and inheritance tax planning in equal measure. My experience of administering estates and calculating inheritance tax liabilities has provided me with valuable insight into how this particularly unpopular tax applies. This type of work has given me the tools to advise clients as to the steps they can take in advance to mitigate their exposure to inheritance tax. I pride myself on providing legal advice in a straightforward manner, cutting through the legal jargon. I always endeavour to work as efficiently as I can in order to provide the best level of service."

Jordan frequently receives great feedback from his clients:

"Just thought I’d email to say thank you really - it’s been a long 11 months but some of the horror stories I have heard from friends who have had to deal with these affairs makes us all realise how efficient and effective you have been so I'd like to thank you on behalf of all our family."

"“Thank you above all for all your exemplary and conscientious work on my mother’s estate, carried out with great patience and attention to every detail.”

“Thanks again for all your hard and conscientious work on the estate and then the will. You have made what could have been a stressful process extremely easy and constructive. I really appreciate the time you have devoted to helping me navigate this.”

"Hart Brown comes up trumps yet again"

“I appreciate your efforts and thank you for helping me to understand the process!”

"Thank you for your help, your ears will be burning, as I have been ringing your praises!!"

“Thank you for all your input, help and time - it has been much appreciated.”

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and professionalism - it is a testament to all those who worked so hard on this case that it looks as though it will all be settled by the first year Anniversary. Quite remarkable!”

"I would like to place on record my appreciation of the efficient and quick service you have provided, particularly as I wished to have the new will in place before my departure on holiday."

“I have been impressed by the way you have dealt with the estate and the thorough way each step has been handled”

"Thank you for the way you have handled my father’s estate. It made a potentially difficult task stress free. You may recall that I was executor for my Scottish aunt’s estate at the same time - let’s just say that was a far more unpleasant experience".

    Louise Harrhy- Head of Trusts & Estates

    Louise Harrhy

    Partner, Head of Trusts & Estates

    Louise Harrhy- Head of Trusts & Estates

    Partner, Head of Trusts & Estates

    Louise Harrhy

    A Partner based in Cranleigh, Louise is also Head of the Trusts & Estates team at Hart Brown and has extensive experience in a broad range of Private Client work.

    Louise helps clients with all aspects of Private Client work and deals with the formation and administration of trusts, lifetime and post death planning and will drafting. She also works with other professional advisors to provide a complete package of advice.

    Louise has considerable experience of applications for probate and estate administration often including complex issues and overseas assets. Additionally, she can help clients with Court of Protection matters including lasting powers of attorney and court applications for gifts.

    "Louise Harrhy is highly experienced in probate applications and estate administration especially matters involving offshore assets. She is skilled in Court of Protection matters, including deputyships and lasting powers of attorney." (Chambers UK 2016)

    "Louise Harrhy is a really driven and committed lawyer. She advises clients on a wide range of areas, including the creation of wills, the establishment of trusts and the administration of estates. Her work also incudes Court of Protection matters." (Chambers UK 2017)

    Louise is also a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

    What do clients say?

    "Louise at Hart Brown helped me enormously in sorting out my deceased relatives affairs. I would not have been able to cope without her generous patience and understanding."

    "Louise Harrhy was recommended to me as a highly professional and knowledgeable solicitor when I was seeking some advice on Estate Planning. This she certainly is and her advice regarding Wills, Trusts and LPAs has been reassuring and helpful in planning the way forward. I have been left with the impression of Hart Brown as a firm of solicitors that can be respected and trusted."

    "I have had excellent attention from Louise Harrhy and her team at the Cranleigh Office recently, dealing with the Wills , Probate and Estate of 2 close relatives. These matters are never easy to deal with , but the combination of professionalism and kindness shown to me by Louise has been a huge help. I would not hesitate to recommend Hart Brown to anyone finding themselves needing help with such matters."

    "I found Louise Harrhy to be very helpful and professional in her dealings with my late mother's estate. I would definitely recommend her and Hart Brown."

    "Excellent!! Friendly and professional service by Louise Harrhy."

      Margaret Gale- Associate- Trusts & Estates

      Margaret Gale

      Associate, Trusts & Estates

      Margaret Gale- Associate- Trusts & Estates

      Associate, Trusts & Estates

      Margaret Gale

      Margaret is an Associate and specialises in wills, the establishment and administration of trusts, probate, tax planning and powers of attorney.

      Margaret joined Hart Brown in 2017, bringing with her a wealth of experience to the Trusts & Estates department in Cobham. She has worked as a Private Client lawyer in Surrey for over 30 years, and is also a member of STEP and the Law Society Private Client Section.

        Sue Macleod -Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Sue Macleod

        Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Sue Macleod -Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Sue Macleod

        Sue is an Associate Solicitor in the Trusts and Estates department, primarily dealing with wills, estate administration, inheritance tax planning, powers of attorney and Court of Protection work.

        Sue qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and has worked for Hart Brown since 1997 apart from a 4 year career break.

        Sue’s clients provide excellent feedback: “An excellent and efficient service. Would highly recommend to friends and family”.

          Sunil Vasisht

          Senior Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

          Senior Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

          Sunil Vasisht

          Sunil joined the Trusts & Estates team in May 2022 as a senior solicitor based in the Cranleigh office. Since he qualified as a solicitor he has worked in firms with offices in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

          After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in Law with French, he decided to travel abroad for a year or so. Nineteen years later, after having set up an English language school/consultancy a stone’s throw from the Amalfi Coast, he returned to the UK to fulfil his childhood ambition of qualifying as a solicitor.

          Sunil has worked in the Private Client field for over 11 years, specialising in Wills, Estate Administration, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship applications to the Court of Protection, all the while taking courses and qualifications to improve his skills and knowledge.

          He is a full member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and also achieved a distinction in the STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation.

            Yiskah Butcher

            Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

            Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

            Yiskah Butcher

            Yiskah joined Hart Brown in January 2023 as a Trusts & Estates Solicitor based in our Cobham office. Yiskah assists clients in the preparation of their Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and in the administration of a loved one’s estate.

            After studying Criminology and Sociology at Roehampton University, Yiskah completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Bloomsbury, gaining a distinction in Private Client.

            Yiskah qualified as a solicitor in 2010, having completed training seats in family, property, commercial and private client matters and returned to law in 2022 following a career in the childcare sector, where Yiskah established and ran an Ofsted Good rated registered childcare setting in south west London.

            Yiskah is an experienced and patient communicator, committed to assisting her clients with clarity, care and sensitivity. She enjoys pilates, property renovation, 5k runs and networking.

            What do clients say about Yiskah?

            "Both Yiskah Butcher and X have been fantastic with their communication... would absolutely use them again."

              Kerry Dunn



              Kerry Dunn

              Kerry is a barrister in our Guildford office.

              Kerry was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1999. She practised at 3 Stone Buildings (now Three Stone following a merger) until 2018 when she took a planned career break to spend time with her young family. During her time at the Bar, she specialised in private client work, both contentious and non-contentious. She has a wealth of experience advising on: trusts and estates; Wills, LPAs, probate and family provision (1975 Act claims); related inheritance taxation and professional negligence claims; Court of Protection and Elder Law; and co-ownership disputes.

              An experienced litigator and advocate, Kerry also qualified as a mediator in 2008 and is keen to work with clients to find sensible, cost-effective solutions to problems as they arise. She is experienced at advising clients across the spectrum, including HNW and UHNW clients.

              Kerry was a full member of STEP from 2005 to 2017 and will be reactivating her membership in due course. She was a committee member of the STEP Mental Capacity SIG from 2016-2017.

              Kerry is keen to give back to the community and was on the panel for the Bar Pro Bono Unit (now Advocate) from 2006-2017, volunteered at Surrey Law Centre and at Refugee Action Kingston. She is happy to give talks to the wider community, including care settings and at local schools.

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