New Probate Fee Structure from April 2019
6th February 2019
Wealthy families face paying up to £6,000 to execute the will of a deceased relative after the government this week confirmed it was pressing ahead with reforms to probate charges.
From April 2019, a six-band probate fee structure will replace the current flat rate of £215, or £155 if estates are settled through a solicitor.
The fee allows an executor to distribute a deceased person’s property and finances.
Those with estates valued between £50,000 and £300,000 will pay £250, and those with estates worth £500,000 to £1m will pay £2,500. Those with estates worth over £2m will face the maximum £6,000, which is a 3,770 per cent increase on the current cost.
Most solicitors feel that the new fees are a form of taxation as the work undertaken by the Probate Registry to process an application is no different whether the estate of the deceased is worth £50,000 or £5 million.
However, the Government has estimated that it will lift about 25,000 estates per year out of fees altogether as the threshold of estate value above which fees are payable will rise from £5,000 to £50,000.
The Government estimates that because the new fees are capped at no more than 0.5 per cent of the value of the estate that 80% of estates will pay £750 or less.
The new fees are all part of an initiative to raise income to pay for the running of the Courts and Tribunal Service.