New Probate Fees
In May 2017 the government is introducing increases to probate court fees. The justification for this is to help ensure the court system is properly funded. Estates that can afford to contribute more will take the main burden of the increase.
The new proposed fee structure is as follows:
Value of estate* Proposed fee
Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate £0
Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000 £300
Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000 £1,000
Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1million £4,000
Exceeds £1million but does not exceed £1.6million £8,000
Exceeds £1.6million but does not exceed £2million £12,000
Above £2million £20,000
*Before Inheritance Tax is levied, if applicable.
Probate fees are currently £155 for professionals and £215 for individuals for all estates valued over £5,000 which require a grant of probate. Often estates below £50,000 do not actually require a grant of probate, as banks and other institutions may release funds to executors without needing the probate documentation. However, for any estates under £50,000 that do require a grant of probate, the new structure will save executors either £155 or £215.
Higher value estates face big increases in fees. Estates valued over £2million will see probate costs escalating from £215 (or £155) to £20,000.
The impact starts to really bite for estates more than £500,000. With current house prices levels this will clearly affect many families.