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Probate Fees to Soar!

Probate Fees to Soar!

Probate Fees to Soar!

Date: March 10, 2016

Currently, the Probate fee payable to the Courts is a flat rate of £155 where Solicitors are acting on behalf of the Executors and £215 if Executors are acting in person and an estate is valued over £5,000.

The threshold before any fee is payable will rise up to £50,000 and then a graduated fee will apply depending on the gross value of the deceased person’s estate. An estate includes all the deceased’s financial assets, any property and may include pensions and life insurance pay outs following a death.

Value of Estate

Proposed new fee

   

 

Less than £50,000

 

nil

£50,000 to not exceeding £300,000

 

£300

 

 

£300,000 to not exceeding £500,000

 

£1,000

 

£500,000 to not exceeding £1m

 

£4,000

 

£1m to not exceeding £1.6m

 

£8,000

 

£1.6m to not exceeding £2m

 

£12,000

 

£2m plus

 

 

£20,000

 

With current house prices, the average estate that we deal with as a firm falls into the £1,000 fee category meaning an increase in the Probate fee of £845. We regularly administer estates where the gross value exceeds £1m which will see a price hike of £7,845, a considerable amount, which ultimately will not be going to family and loved ones.

So why is this happening? The Ministry of Justice anticipates that this will bring in a further £250m extra per year in revenue to be utilised toward the running costs of the Court service. They are wanting to review the whole Probate process, make it digital and streamline it so that it becomes easier to apply for Probate and report Inheritance tax after a death.

Should these proposals become reality, there will of course be opportunities to mitigate the fees through lifetime planning and our specialist Solicitors in our 10 strong team Wills and Probate team will be able to guide you and advise you on the options available to you.  

Alex Spurr - Head of Wills & Probate