Government Announces Planned Increase in Probate Fees

A week after the budget the Government has announced planned changes to the way that probate fees are calculated. Currently probate fees are set at a flat rate of £215 or a lower rate of £155 if the grant of probate is sourced through a solicitor.

The planned change is for probate fees to be calculated using a banded structure, based on the value of the estate. For some estates, the change will mean no fee is payable. However, this is only the case if the estate is valued below £50,000.

For any estate above £50,000, the proposed changes will result in a higher probate fee. The biggest change will be for those estates values at over £2 million, for which the probate fee will potentially increase from £155 to £6000, an increase of over 3500%.

These changes make careful estate planning even more important. Those individuals concerned about the taxation of their estate, will now also need to consider the impact the value of their estate will have on the probate fee that will be due.

For those individuals who are in the process – or about to begin the process – of obtaining a grant of probate, in relation to a deceased person’s estate, there is an extra time pressure to obtain the grant soon or potentially face a substantially increased fee.

The Wilkes Partnership can help with estate planning for those individuals who are concerned about inheritance tax liability, increased probate fees or both. We can also help those individuals who want to obtain a grant of probate before the probate fee due increases.

Please contact Eleanor Holland at eholland@wilkes.co.uk or 0121 733 8000 if you would like more information or advice.