Probate registry fees set to rise dramatically
By Nick Palmer
The Ministry of Justice has proposed an exponential rise in the Court fee payable on an application for a Grant of Probate from £155 (for solicitor applications)/£215 (for personal applications) up to £20,000. Only recently in April 2014, the fee increased from £45 to £155.
The fee would be banded, similar to the old stamp duty system, where the higher the value of an estate, the higher the fee payable.
Under the proposal an estate between £50,000 and £300,000 would pay a fee of £300 (a 666% increase from April 2014). The fee payable would increase to the highest threshold of £20,000 for estates valued at more than £2m.
This may encourage alternative planning – for instance, assets owned jointly or in trust may not be included in a person’s estate for the purposes of calculating this fee. This may also create practical problems for executors who cannot afford this fee. The fee is not deductible for inheritance tax purposes.
Nick Palmer is a solicitor in the Private Client team at Barker Gotelee.