When a person dies it is often necessary to apply for a ‘Grant of Probate’ from the Court to deal with their estate. The Probate Fee is the money paid to the Court when that application is made.
Probate Fees are currently either £155 if you apply through a Solicitor or £215 if you apply in person unless the estate is less than £5,000 in value in which case there is no fee to pay.
In 2017 a substantial fee increase, that would have seen fees rise to up to £20,000 per estate, was proposed and eventually dropped following much objection.
A revised fee increase is now proposed and has been laid before Parliament for approval. If it is approved, which it is anticipated it will be, Probate Fees will increase in April 2019 and will be charged as follows:
Estates up to £50,000 – Nil
Estates from £50,000 up to £300,000 - £250
Estates from £300,000 up to £500,000 - £750
Estates from £500,000 up to £1 million - £2,500
Estates from £1 million up to £1.6 million - £4,000
Estates from £1.6 million up to £2 million - £5,000
Estates over £2 million - £6,000
Whilst these fees are lower than those proposed in 2017 this is still see a considerable fee increase for a large proportion of estates, many of which will also be subject to substantial inheritance tax charges.
It seems entirely unfair and unreasonable that fees will be charged on a scale on the basis of the value of the estate given that the process for the probate registry in issuing the Grant of Probate is no more complex for a high value estate than for a low value estate.
If you are dealing with an Estate and need to obtain a Grant of Probate you may want to ensure you submit your application in the next few weeks before the fees are due to increase in April.
If you require advice and assistance completing and submitting an application for Grant of Probate Elite Law Solicitors offer a free initial no obligation consultation following which a written estimate of our fees will be provided in writing.
In addition to our usual office hours we offer evening appointments on the first Tuesday of every month.