Probate Fees – On The Rise In May
Last year the Government issued a consultation paper proposing substantial increases in the fees paid to the Probate Registries across the country before a grant of probate or letters of administration can be obtained.
Probate Fee Increase, 2017
There was a consultation exercise. An overwhelming majority of the respondents were against the proposal. It is another disguised tax. But no surprise – the proposal is going ahead with no changes. Here is the table.
|Value of Estate
(before inheritance tax)
|Proportion of all estates in England and Wales||Proposed fee|
|Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate||58%||£0|
|Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000||23%||£300|
|Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000||11%||£1000|
|Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1m||6%||£4000|
|Exceeds £1m but does not exceed £1.6m||1%||£8000|
|Exceeds £1.6m but does not exceed £2m||0.3%||£12000|
Those particularly hard hit will be estates in London and the South East where nearly all the value is in the house and there is little cash to fund these substantial fees. In recent years banks have been particularly unhelpful in providing temporary loans to executors. We shall have to see whether this is likely to change.
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The fees are expected to come into force in May so expect a rush of probate applications.
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