Significant Increase in Probate fees from May 2017
March 30, 2017
The Ministry of Justice is making a significant overhaul to probate charges which many people will not notice until they are dealing with the death of a loved one. The overhaul is leading to huge increases in probate fees.
Probate fees are usually payable by the deceased’s executors or administrators when a probate application is sent to the probate registry. The current probate fee is £215.00 for an estate over £5,000.00 or £155.00 for those applying through a solicitor. (There is currently no fee at all if the estate is less than £5,000.00). Issuing a grant of probate is largely an administrative function so the fees have always been relatively low.
Under the new scheme, estates worth under £50,000.00 will pay nothing but those worth more than £2,000,000.00 could pay as much as £20,000.00. These fees will be in addition to any inheritance tax currently levied at 40% of an individual’s assets above the £325,000.00 personal threshold. These fee increases will adversely and disproportionally affect estates in London and the South East as property prices mean many estates will come into the £500,000 plus brackets.
|Value of the estate (before inheritance tax)||Proportion of all estates in England & Wales||Proposed fee|
|Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate||58%||£0|
|£1m – £1.6m||1%||£8,0000|
|£1.6m – £2m||0.3%||£12,000|
Under the previous MOJ consultation to the increase in charges, respondents were overwhelming opposed. However the MOJ is proceeding despite these protests.
Please be aware that these increases will be introduced in May 2017 although the actual date has still not been published.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.