Following a recent government announcement many families will pay more in probate fees starting from April 2019.
Currently, bereaved families pay a flat fee of £155.00 if they apply through a solicitor and £215.00 for a personal application and the fee does not rise regardless of the value of the estate.
The new regime will mean that the fee will be based on the deceased’s estate and we have set out below the new fee bands proposed:
|Value of Estate||Proposed Fees|
|Up to £50,000||£0.00|
|Over £50,000 to £300,000||£250.00|
|Over £300,000 to £500,000.00||£750.00|
|Over £500,000 to £1 million||£2,500|
|Over £1 million to £1.6 million||£4,000|
|Over £1.6 million to £2 million||£5,000|
|Over £2 million||£6,000|
This is subject to being approved by the House of Commons. This does mean a saving for lower value estates worth less than £50,000.00 however a huge hike in fees for estates worth over £50,000.00.
Many critics believe that this is an additional tax however the Ministry of Justice Lucy Frazer MP said “this new branded fee model represents a fair and more progressive way to pay for probate services compared to the flat fee and reflects our commitment to protecting access to justice by ensuring we have a properly funded and resourced courts system”.
Whilst this has not yet been approved, early signs suggest that it is likely be enforced and therefore any executors who are preparing for an application for probate will need to act quickly to benefit from the flat fees currently payable.