A potential rise in probate fees and how it could affect you

A consultation is to be heard on the 1 April 2016 which aims to set out the Government’s reform proposal regarding the fee payable for an application for a Grant of Probate. The Grant of Probate is a document which confirms that the Executors have the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.

New Proposals

The proposed move sees a change from the traditional flat fee to that of a banded fee approach, which means that the fee is proportionate to the value of the estate. The flat fee costs £155.00 when you use a Solicitor and £215.00 when you do not. If the value of the estate is less than £5,000.00 then it attracts no fee.

The proposed new probate fees before inheritance tax are detailed as follows:

  • £300 for estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000;
  • £1,000 for estates worth more than £300,000 and up to £500,000;
  • £4,000 for estates worth more than £500,000 and up to £1m;
  • £8,000 for estates worth more than £1m and up to £1.6m;
  • £12,000 for estates worth more than £1.6m and up to £2m; and
  • £20,000 for estates worth more than £2m.

This poses a significant increase for estates where the deceased died owning properties in expensive areas such as London.

Although this will affect higher value estates the Ministry of Justice stated that estates that are worth less than £50,000.00 will pay no fees, which is an increase from the current £5,000.00. In addition, Justice Minister Shailesh Vara has stated that a vast majority, approximately 84%, of all estates would incur fees of £300.00.

If you would like any more information in relation to this article then please feel free to contact me via email: simon.nicolaides@bowlinglaw.co.uk

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