5 March 2019
Probate Fees increase
An executor is someone who is appointed in a person’s will to deal with estate assets and settle estate debts when the will maker passes away. The executor is also responsible to ensure that the beneficiaries named in the will receive their inheritance.
Sometimes, executors need to apply for a grant of probate before they can access estate assets. At present, the fee to obtain a grant of probate is £155 (if a solicitor applies for you). In 2016, the Government reviewed probate fees and as a result of several consultations, in April 2019 the flat rate application fee of £155 will be abolished and a new fee structure based on the estate value is set to be introduced.
Under the new fee structure, the cost of obtaining a grant of probate for estates worth £50,000 or less will be nil. However, for estates worth between £50,000 to £300,000 the new application fee for obtaining a grant of probate will be £250 and for estates at the top end of the fee scale, worth more than £2,000,0000 the new application fee will be £6,000.
For estates worth more than £500,000 but less than £1,000,000, the cost of an application for a grant of probate will be £2,500. Below is a table setting out the difference between the current fees and the new proposed fees.
|Value of estate||Current fee(£)||New fee proposal (April 2019)|
|Up to £50,000||£155||£0|
|Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000||£155||£250|
|Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000||£155||£750|
|Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1m||£155||£2500|
|Exceeds £1m but does not exceed £1.6m||£155||£4000|
|Exceeds £1.6m but does not exceed £2m||£155||£5000|
As you often need to present a grant of probate before you access estate money, these new fees could leave executors struggling to find the money to apply for a grant of probate.
If you need any assistance obtaining a grant of probate before the new fee structure comes in, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are pleased to offer a free 30 minute, no obligation consultation.