A change to Probate fees in April

Probate fees

 

 

Probate is something that the majority of us do not think about until we need to go through it because we have lost a love done. But with changes happening to probate fees in April it’s worth understanding the financial impact it could have for you, your loved ones in the future.

 

 

From April probate fees are set to change from being a fixed fee to a sliding scale. Although the date is still yet to be set, the narrow vote was passed in by the House of Commons February and will mean a change that many people will be unaware of.

Currently, probate fees are paid upfront and are fixed at £155 for solicitors and £125 for individuals, an amount that generally does not cause issues in raising.

However in April this is set to change, to what some are calling a ‘death tax by stealth’.

The fees will be set on a sliding scale according to the value of a persons estate.

 

The Probate tiered fee system is expected to see the following changes:

Value of estate (before inheritance tax) Proposed fee
Up to £50,000 £0
£50,000 – £300,000 £250
£300,000 – £500,000 £750
£500,000 – £1 million £2,500
£1 million – £1.6 million £4,000
£1.6 million – £2 million £5,000
Over £2 million £6,000

 

The fees are still to be paid upfront (currently) yet how some people will fund this is yet to be clarified, although Lucy Frazer MP has confirmed that, where banks or building societies refuse to release money to pay the fee, the probate service is willing to write to them to confirm the money is needed to pay the fees.

The Law Society have staunchly opposed the fee changes claiming that the amended fees are a ‘misuse of the Lord Chancellor’s fee-levying power.’

Furthermore, it has been that the increase ‘is disproportionate’ and that ‘it is unfair to expect the bereaved to fund or subsidise other parts of the court and tribunal service, particularly in circumstances where they have no other options but to use the probate service. This is an introduction of a new tax on death by stealth.”

 

Period of uncertainty

For those dealing with Probate over the coming months there there will no doubt be a period of uncertainty over new payment guidelines, and an understanding of the new changes. In order to gain full clarity over the fees and the potential implication then get professional support.

 

At Make Me a Will, our team and our legal partners have a wealth of knowledge and information to support you through the probate process and can provide further details regarding the new fees. 

Our view is that ultimately it saves time and hassle (at an often distressing time) by using experienced resource and support in a possibly complex scenario. Call us on 01522 500823 for support on any queries.

What our customers say:

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