Government Introduces Major Increase in Fees for Probate Applications
When someone has died leaving property, money and possessions (the ‘estate’) it is likely that a Grant of Probate will be needed whether the deceased left a will or not. In the event of an intestacy this authority is known as the Letters of Administration. The Grant of Probate is the legal authority which enables the executor of the will (or estate administrator in the event of an intestacy) to gather in the assets of the estate, pay any debts or liabilities, and distribute the net estate to the beneficiaries.
At present applicants for a Grant of Probate pay a flat £215, or £155 if they apply through a solicitor, on estates over £5,000.
The Government has now put forward controversial plans to increase the fees from a flat fee to one which is based upon the value of the estate as follows:
Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing, meaning estates worth between £5,000 and £50,000 will save £215 compared to the current system.
- Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
- Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
- Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
- Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785.
- Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
- Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.
Following debate in Parliament on 7th February 2019 it appears that these increases will be going ahead as from April 2019, although there are still opportunities for MP’s to object to what are proving to be deeply unpopular plans.
Kerry Blackhurst – Wills, Trust and Probate Associate