Probate fees were due to increase as of April 1st 2019. The new fees, branded as a stealth tax, would be based on the size of the Estate. The current Probate fee is £215 or for those applying via a solicitor the cost is £155
Under the proposed plans Probate fees would increase as follows;
- Estates valued less than £50,000 – Will pay nothing.
- Estates valued from £50,000 – £300,000 – Will pay £250 (a rise of £35)
- Estates valued from £300,000 – £500,000 – Will pay £750 (a rise of £535)
- Estates valued from £500,000 up to £1 million – Will pay £2,500 (a rise of £2,285)
- Estates valued from £1 million to £1.6 million – Will pay £4,000 (a rise of £3,785)
- Estates valued from £1.6 million to £2 million – Will pay £5,000 (a rise of £4,785)
- Estates valued at more than £2 million – Will pay £6,000 (a rise of £5,785)
The Statutory Instrument that would bring the revised fee scheme into force has not been laid this week due to Brexit taking precedence. The Ministry of Justice has said that the reforms will come into force as soon as possible.
The earliest that fees could come into effect would be 21 days after the motion was passed.
If the new increase was to pass and come into effect anyone considering to be an executor should take into consideration whether they will be able to pay these fees as there is no way of knowing whether the estate will be able to pay these fees as it is more than likely that banks will freeze accounts and obviously houses cannot be sold before Probate is Granted. It really is a grey area and I wonder if these new fees would put people off of being an executor?
The below article featured in the Law Gazette explains why this Statutory Instrument has yet to be passed and who has been objecting to this.