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Hike of Probate Fees up to £20,000 due in May 2017

March 2017

Despite nearly total opposition registered in a public consultation process, this week the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced changes in probate fees to come into force in May 2017.

The current flat fee is to be replaced by a sliding scale approach proportionate to the value of the estate.
The fees, which are paid by executors of wills and estates in England and Wales, are set to rise from their current level of £215 – or £155 where a solicitor makes the application, to as much as £20,000 for estates that are valued at more than £2 million.

The limit value of the estate will rise from £5,000 to £50,000, meaning some estates will pay nothing at all. According to the Government, this applies to 58% of all estates in England and Wales.
But estates that are worth more than £50,000 will be subjected to pay the increased fees (see table below).


Above £2m

£20,000

£1.6m - £2m

£12,000

£1m - £1.6m

£8,000

£500,000 - £1m

£4,000

£300,000 - £500,000

£1,000

£50,000 - £300,000

£300

Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate

£0

For executors the probate fees will be payable at the same time as applying to the Probate Registry for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. To assist with this payment, a number of High Street banks have raised their limit to release funds without Grant of Probate.

It is clear that these changes are going to add further complexity to estate planning.

If you have any queries, or wish to speak to one of our Wills & Probate Solicitors, please contact us.

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