09/03/2017

The Government has announced its intention to proceed with plans to increase probate fees, despite overwhelming objections from those involved in the Government’s consultation process.

Current Position

Currently, the court fee to obtain a grant via an application made through a solicitor is a flat fee of £155.00 or £215.00 for a personal application.

The New Fee Structure from May 2017

The new fee structure will see probate fees based on the value of the deceased person’s estate as follows:-

  • £300 for estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000
  • £1,000 for estates worth more than £300,000 and up to £500,000
  • £4,000 for estates worth more than £500,000 and up to £1 million
  • £8,000 for estates worth more than £1m and up to £1.6 million
  • £12,000 for estates worth more than £1.6m and up to £2 million
  • £20,000 for estates worth more than £2 million
  • Estates worth below £50,000 will not be required to pay a fee.

As a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, we are concerned that the elderly may be subject to pressures to transfer their assets before they die. Claire Davis, Director of Solicitors for the Elderly said “The increase in probate fees will place a burden on families at a sensitive and distressing time and is likely to put people who are vulnerable and/or elderly at risk. Our fear is that such clients might be persuaded to take steps to avoid probate fees, even if the effect is to leave them with insufficient assets to provide for themselves for the rest of their life.”

If you have any questions about the new proposal and how it might affect you, please contact Sarah Mellor at Beswicks Legal on 01782 205000 or sarah.mellor@beswicks.com