12 Mar 2019

Wills & Probate

Proposed changes to Probate Fees Imminent

What is Probate?

When somebody passes away, they will leave behind their ‘estate’ – this is usually made up of money, property and possessions. If the deceased has made a will and appointed an executor, it is the executor’s job to carry out the wishes made in the will. The executor must apply for a ‘Grant of Probate’ in order to do this, the application for this will incur fees.

Changes to Fees

The government announced changes last year about proposed increases in Probate Registry Fees for applying for a Grant from April 2019. The fee is currently £215 for a personal application or £155 if a Solicitor prepares and submits the application.

It is proposed that from April 2019, the current flat fee will change to a banded fee depending on the value of the estate, the proposed charges are as follows:

If the estate:

(a) exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000 – £250

(b) exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000 – £750

(c) exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1,000,000 – £2,500

(d) exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000 – £4,000

(f) exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000 – £5,000

(g) exceeds £2,000,000 – £6,000

The fees must be paid upfront before anything can be reclaimed from the estate, which may mean Executors will have to take out loans in order to cover the increased fees.

Many see the new charges as stealth tax since the process for proving the Will through the Probate Registry is the same regardless of the value of the estate, so it can seem unfair to increase the fees based on the estate value.

For larger estates the process can be time consuming and there is just 6 weeks until the new charges could apply, so if you are the executor of a will you may wish to apply now.

Get in touch with our expert team today and let us help, click here to contact us directly.

 

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