The increase will see the end of the current flat fee approach and the introduction of a new scaled approach based on the value of an estate.
Currently probate fees are a £215 flat fee if applied for by the friends or family of the deceased, or £155 if a solicitor makes the application. The fees are currently charged on any estate worth more than £5,000.
However, under the new rules there will be a sliding scale of fees for probate applications depending on the size of the estate. Fees will start at £250 for estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000, while, at the top end, estates worth more than £2 million will have to pay £6,000.
However, the value of an estate below which no fee is payable will rise from £5,000 to £50,000, lifting some estates out of paying any fee.
|Value of estate (before inheritance tax)||Proposed fee|
|Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate||£0|
|Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000||£250|
|Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000||£750|
|Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1m||£2,500|
|Exceeds £1m but does not exceed £1.6m||£4,000|
|Exceeds £1.6m but does not exceed £2m||£5,000|
These increased fees will only apply to Estates in England and Wales.
Executors will have to pay the fee up front before reclaiming it from the estate once probate has been granted which could mean with many people being asset rich, but cash poor, some families will be left with no choice but to borrow to be able to pay the fee.
If you have any queries regarding probate, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 01926 491181.