This month, the government is proposing to change the current probate fee structure from a flat rate fee, to one based on the value of the estate.
The new proposals set out a banded structure, where fees rise with size of the estate.
At the moment, families in England and Wales pay a flat probate fee of £215, or £155 if they apply through a solicitor, on estates worth more than £5,000.
However, bereaved families will instead be faced with a tiered system that will charge based on the value of the estate. This charge is additional to inheritance tax. Those estates up to £50,000 will be exempt from fees, then the fees are:
|Value of Estate||Probate Fee|
|Estates worth from £50,000 to £300,000||£250|
|Estates worth from £300,000 to £500,000||£750|
|Estates worth from £500,000 to £1 million||£2,500|
|Estates worth from £1 million to £1.6 million||£4,000|
|Estates worth from £1.6 million to £2 million||£5,000|
|Estates above £2 million||£6,000|
The fees will need to be paid from the estate at the time of the application, and there are options open to executors as to how to arrange this.
Labour’s justice spokesman Gloria De Piero said the charges were a “tax on grieving families”.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “This is not a tax – and any decision by the ONS to define it as such would be purely for accounting purposes.”
“The income raised from probate fees will go towards funding a more efficient and effective courts and tribunals system.”
While the changes are being put in place there is a temporary process for applying for probate. Visit gov.uk for more details: www.gov.uk/government/news/proposed-change-to-probate-fees
If you have any queries regarding probate or the new fees, contact our specialist team on 01792 468684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.