The New Probate Fees – Just Another Death ‘Tax’?
More details are emerging from last weeks’ budget which Darren reported on at the time. Today probate fees caught our eye and we see this as an issue that could affect our client’s estates.
What are probation fees?
A fee which is paid when administering someone’s estate after they die. This was previously a flat fee of £215 or £155 if probate is applied for through a solicitor.
What do the fees pay for?
The new service will allow people to apply for grant of probate online and access digital support for those unable to pay for a solicitor. According to Secretary of State for Justice Lucy Frazer, all revenues from the new fee system will go towards running costs for the courts and tribunal services and the new online digital support.
What are the new fees?
Much like inheritance tax, the fees will depend on the amount the estate is worth:
|Estate Value||Probate fee due:||Difference from current fee:|
|Less than £50,000||£NIL||A decrease of £215|
|From £50,000 up to £300,000||£250||An increase of £35|
|From £300,000 up to £500,000||£750||An increase of £535|
|From £500,000 up to £1 million||£2,500||An increase of £2,285|
|From £1 million up to £1.6 million||£4,000||An increase of £3,785|
|From £1.6 million up to £2 million||£5,000||An increase of £4,785|
|More than £2 million||£6,000||An increase of £5,785|
Original plans for an increase of the probate fee, announced back in March 2017, were much higher than the above. In the most extreme case, a fee of £20,000 would have been due on estates worth more than £2 million. The government faced a severe backlash and decreased the proposed fee to a maximum of £6,000.
As I write this, there is again uproar over the anticipated changes, so there is no guarantee they will come into force by April 2019. We will, as ever, keep our ear to the ground and let our clients know of any major changes which may affect you or your loved ones within your lifetime or after your days.
If you have any questions in regard to this article, or we can help in anyway – please feel free to call us.