The UK government announced last night amended proposals to increase the fees charged for obtaining a grant of probate on death. Currently the fees are £215 for a personal application, or £155 if solicitors are instructed to deal with the estate.
The proposals are a banded fee structure. Whilst the lower estate value threshold is to be increased from £5,000 to £50,000, under which no probate fee is paid, a vast number of estates will pay increased probate fees. For example, if an estate is worth £1million, the new probate fee would be £4,000 and if an estate is worth more than £2million then the probate fee would be £6,000.
The new charges are seen as a further form of taxation as the costs do not reflect the cost of issuing a grant of probate. Although these fee proposals are lower than those proposed in the Spring of 2017, they are still dramatically higher than the current fees and they are paid in addition to Inheritance Tax that may be charged on death.
It has yet to be announced when the new banded fee structure is to come into effect and we wait for further information from the Ministry of Justice.
The Thompson Smith and Puxon Wills and Estates team can advise on Wills, LPAs, Lifetime Planning and the Administration of Estates (Probate). The team can be contacted on 01206 574431 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.