What you need to know about an increase in probate fees

Advice is on hand for people worried about an increase in probate fees, which was set to come in to force April 2019.

The fees will be calculated on the basis of the estate, meaning those with estates worth more than £2,000,000 will have to pay £6,000.

“There is a lot of concern about the plan to increase probate fees, which has been published by the Government but without guidance on how the system will work." said Sarah Clarke, a Solicitor in Stone King’s Trusts and Estates team.

“We were told the fee increases would start in April, but now the legislation is stuck in Parliament and we do not know when the new rules will come into force.”

The process for obtaining a grant from the probate registry is the same, no matter the size of the estate, so the difference in the sliding scale of fees is felt to be unjustifiable.

Executors of large estates will have to find fees of up to £6,000 before they candeal with the assets.

The probate process does not require additional work or resources to consider the applications, so these fees are being used to subsidise other areas of the courts and tribunal service.

Under the new rules, fees paid when administering a deceased person’s estate will be charged on a sliding scale, increasing with the value of the estate, instead of the current flat fee for solicitors of £155.

Size of Estate Fee
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 £1,000,000 £2,500
Exceeds £1,000,000 but does not exceed £1,600,000 £4,000
Exceeds £1,600,000 but does not exceed £2,000,000 £5,000
Exceeds £2,000,000 £6,000

Stone King’s specialist Trusts and Estates team can assist anyone wanting to find out more about probate or worried about these proposals.

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