New probate fee structure for 2017

Dealing with a loved one’s death is a very difficult time and having to deal with the estate can be daunting and understandably not a priority.  However, The Government has confirmed a huge increase in the fee charged to obtain the Grant of Probate. For more information on what is probate, follow the attached link, ‘what is probate’.

A grant of probate or administration is required before many deceased estates can be dealt with.  Currently, the fees stand at £155 for solicitors making an application to the Grant, when the estate is over £5,000.  This reflects the fact that the work required by the Registry is the same whatever the value recorded. 

The new changes will see the introduction of a banded fee structure. The new charges will see an estate in excess of £2M paying a £20,000 fee as opposed to the existing £155.  This is a whopping 12,900% increase!  Of course most will not leave estates of £2M, but given the rising costs of houses in the South East, an estate valued at £300,000 or even £500,000 is not uncommon.  In these cases the new Probate Registry fees will be £1,000 and £4,000 respectively.

The new fee structure is expected to come into force in May 2017 and will be as follows: 

New fee structure Value of estate (before inheritance tax) Old FeeProposed Fee
Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate£155£0
Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000£155£300
Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000£155£1,000
Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1m£155£4,000
Exceeds £1m but does not exceed £1.6m£155£8,000
Exceeds £1.6m but does not exceed £2m£155£12,000
Above £2m£155£20,000

What if you have recently lost a loved one

Our advice is that if you have recently lost a loved one, and still need to administer their estate, do not delay this process as this could prove to be very costly with these proposed changes set to come out in May 2017.

Dealing with the legal matters is naturally difficult when you are grieving.  However, not taking action soon may mean that what your loved one has worked so hard to achieve is quickly lost because of this stealth tax

Birkett Long’s expert team includes members of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society of Estate Practitioners (STEP), which means we are committed to treating clients with dignity, respect and sensitivity, and to avoid unnecessary legal terminology.

If you need assistance in obtaining probate then please do not hesitate to contact us:

Basildon and Chelmsford Office - Emma Clarke on 01245 453833 or emma.clarke@birkettlong.co.uk
Colchester Office - Joanna Tollworthy on 01206 217360 or joanna.tollworthy@birkettlong.co.uk

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.