The Ministry of Justice has just confirmed the introduction of a banded system for probate fees which will significantly increase the probate application fees for substantial estates.

Currently, estates worth less than £5,000 do not pay an application fee.  Otherwise there is a flat fee, being £215 for personal applications and £155 for applications by legal representatives.

The proposed fee structure had been put out to consultation last year and, despite overwhelming opposition, the government has announced that it has decided to go ahead as planned.  Many see this as a tax on bereaved families which will hit families hard where there may not be sufficient cash assets to pay the increased probate application fee.

The Consultation Response sets out that in May this year, estates worth less than £50,000 will not be charged a probate application fee but estates above this limit will be charged on a tiered basis, ranging from £300 for estates not exceeding £300,000 up to £20,000 for estates exceeding £2,000,000.

For advice on Estate Administration (Probate), Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Lifetime Planning the TSP Wills and Estates team can be contacted on 01206 574431 or by email on