You may recall that back in 2016 the government proposed some changes to probate fees which could have seen some estates paying £20,000 just to get a Grant of Probate. Needless to say, the proposals received quite the backlash and we have heard only mumblings ever since.
In November last year, a revised proposal was suggested amending the fees to a scale between £250 and £6,000 depending on the value of the estate. In February this year, that proposal was discussed and very narrowly approved. We are now awaiting the legislation to be formally passed by the House of Commons.
Once introduced, the legislation will obviously bring drastic changes to the probate process and apply more like a tax than a court fee. The good news, however, is that estates worth less than £50,000 will have no court fee to pay. It is estimated that this will save 25,000 estates from paying a probate court fee every year.
The proposed fees are as follows:
Estates less than £50,000 No fee
Between £50,00 and £300,000 £250
Between £300,000 and £500,000 £750
Between £500,000 and £1 million £2,500
Between £1 million and £1.6 million £4,000
Between £1.6 million and £2 million £5,000
Over £2 million £6,000
Based on the current values of estate, the government has advised that of those estates who would be liable for a fee, around 60% would expect to be in the £250 category, a fee not dissimilar from the current personal fee of £215. The next 20% of fee payers will be in the £750 category and only the top 20% of fee payers will land the fees at £2,500 and upward.
It looks likely that these fees are going to be implemented but the draft legislation first needs to be passed by parliament. With the plan for Brexit looking no more clear than last year, however, it may be some time before this legislation makes it into the Commons.
In the meantime, keep up to date with our blog, as we will be sure to let you know when we have an implementation date, and if you already have a probate matter yet to be dealt with, come and see us sooner rather than later to make the most of the current £155 fee through solicitors!
You can contact Jas Kaur for an initial no obligation phone call to discuss your needs on 01926 350031 or by emailing email@example.com.