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Increased probate fees likely to come into force in April

The government is forging ahead with increased probate charges that were proposed in 2016, but scrapped just before the last general election in 2017.

probate costsThe new fees, which will see estates worth more than £2 million paying £6,000 to obtain a grant of representation, will be implemented from April (actual date not yet confirmed).

Fees will be based on the value of the estate, whereas, at present, where the estate is valued at over £5,000, there is a flat fee of £155 if the application is made by a solicitor and £215 for personal applications.   New fees will be as follows:
 

Value of estate Probate cost
Up to £50,000 £0
From £50,000 to £300,000 £250
From £300,000 to £500,000 £750
From £500,000 to £1 million £2,500
From £1 million to £1.6 million £4,000
From £1.6 million to £2 million £5,000
Over £2 million £6,000

The fee will be payable according to the date on which the probate application is made, not the date of death, and is payable in addition to inheritance tax – the difference being that the probate fee has to be paid up front.  At present, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has not given any information about its plans to offer executors options to pay the amount, although plans are apparently in hand.

The draft order proposing the new fees awaits approval (which is expected to be given) by the House of Commons and the new fees will come into effect 21 days after the actual order is made.

probate fees

Anne Rogers

Head of our private client department, Anne Rogers, says:

“The new proposals are a significant increase.  Depending on what the government’s plans are to make arrangements to pay the fees, they are likely to cause some difficulty, particularly for those with higher valued estates.  As the new fee regime has yet to come into force, I would advise any executors who are in a position to apply for probate now, to do it as quickly as possible in order to ensure that the current, lower fees are applied.”

Contact our experts now to discuss your wills and probate issues.  You can also find out more about the administration of estates on our web pages.

Author: Anne Rogers, head of our private client department.

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