Probate fees set to increase
The government has recently announced that, as of 1st May 2017, the court fee payable to obtain probate in England and Wales will increase significantly for all estates worth more than £50,000.
Currently, the fee payable to the court when applying for probate through a solicitor is £155. No fee is payable if the estate is worth less than £5,000.
At the start of May, a new banded system will be introduced. The fee will increase dependent on the size of the estate.
The below table details the new fee structure:
|Value of the estate (before Inheritance Tax)||Proposed fee|
|Up to £50,000||£0|
|£50,001 – £300,000||£300|
|£300,001 – £500,000||£1,000|
|£500,001 – £1,000,000||£4,000|
|£1,000,001 – £1,600,000||£8,000|
|£1,600,001 – £2,000,000||£12,000|
If you are an executor of an estate you should consider whether you are able to make your application for probate as soon as possible to avoid this increase. Or, if you are planning for the future and concerned about the cost of the probate court fee, you should speak with a specialist solicitor now.
With the right advice it may be possible to structure your estate in such a way to avoid or reduce the probate court fee. You should also consider how your executors will obtain access to enough money in order to pay the fee.
At GA we are well placed to assist both those looking to plan for the future and executors wishing to speedily complete a probate application in order to avoid these new charges.
Our dedicated, qualified and understanding team will be pleased to meet with you. Many members of our wills, trusts and probate team are also members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly.
*Update (21/04/2017): Probate fee rise has been scrapped due to lack of time for the legislation to go through parliament before the general election (8th June 2017). BBC article