Changes to probate fees announced
The government has announced changes in probate fees from April 2019.
Currently, the fee paid when applying for probate is £215 (or £155 for those applying through a solicitor) and there is no fee charged if the estate is worth less than £5,000.
The Ministry of Justice is expected to raise an extra £185 million a year from the new charges by 2022-23. On a positive note, the threshold for fee exempt estates will increase from £5,000 to £50,000 and the Government estimates this will allow around 25,000 estates per annum to become fee exempt. This is good news for smaller estates.
Here is the full schedule of fees which will apply from April 2019:
- Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing, meaning estates worth between £5,000 and £50,000 will save £215 compared to the current system.
- Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
- Estates worth from £300,000 to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
- Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
- Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785
- Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
- Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.
Any executors or beneficiaries of estates where a grant of probate has not been obtained should consider the new fees and whether or not these are likely to apply.
Peter Gooch is the Probate and Trust Manager at Barker Gotelee Suffolk solicitors.