Currently, if you are applying for a grant of probate in your role as an executor then you will be required to pay a probate fee to the probate registry of £215 (or £155 if a solicitor has prepared the application for you). However, the Government has recently announced a new structure of fees based on the value of the estate pre-inheritance tax.
|Value of estate||Proposed probate fee||Estimated proportion of estates|
|Up to £50,000||£0||57%|
|£50,000 – £300,000||£300||27%|
|£300,000 – £500,000||£1,000||10%|
|£500,000 – £1,000,0000||£4,000||5%|
|£1,000,000 – £1,600,000||£8,000||1%|
|£1,600,000 – £2,000,000||£12,000||0.2%|
It should also be noted that probate is not required in approximately half of all deaths for various reasons. (e.g. the entire estate passes to their spouse by reason of survivorship or the value of the estate doesn’t necessitate obtaining probate)
Nevertheless, it is clear that this sharp increase will have a significant effect on the administration of estates. Due to rising property prices, estates may attract a high probate application fee, however may not have enough liquid assets to pay the probate fee without selling the property.
This proposal to increase fees comes a short while after the new residence nil rate bands have been established, due to be introduced in April 2017 which have created a further nil rate band of £100,000 (and increasing thereafter) in relation to a main residence.
If you have any questions about obtaining probate, please give our specialist Wills, Trusts and Probate solicitors in Leeds, Wakefield and London a call on 0113 244 9931