The fees paid to Government to obtain a Grant of Probate are set to rise, hitting bereaved families from April 2019.

What are the new Probate fees?

Probate fees for estates valued at over £5,000 are currently fixed at £215 (or £155 for families who use a solicitor) with no fee if the estate is under £5,000. 

The new structure will be based on the size of the deceased’s estate. The new sliding scale will penalise larger estates particularly heavily, despite the fact that the same level of work is involved to approve the Grant, regardless of the size of the estate.

Under the new system the probate fees will be charged as follows:

Value of the Estate New Probate Fee Increase in Fee
Less than £50,000 £0 -£215
£50,000 to £300,000 £250 £35
£300,000 to £500,000 £750 £335
£500,000 to £1 million £2,500 £2,285
£1 million to £1.6 million £4,000 £3,785
£1.6 million to £2 million £5,000 £4,785
More than £2 million £6,000 £5,785

The Government is calling the increase a fee rather than a tax and it is being justified to support the costs of running the court service. However, many believe that given that the work involved in granting probate is largely unrelated to the value of the estate then this is just a double tax on wealth which has already been taxed once when it was accumulated.

The costs will be a shock to those trying to find the best solutions for their estates upon death and prove a challenge to executors finding the funding for extra fees. Given the high costs of property in most of the UK, any estate with a house is likely to be chargeable.  It is estimated that 1 in 5 will need to find fees of at least £2,500 under the new regime.

How can Backhouse Solicitors help?

If you are the Executor of a Will or Beneficiary to an estate and need help understanding the new fees then we are here to help.  Our professional team of expert probate solicitors can guide you through the complicated details and help you keep the costs of Probate and estate administration to a manageable level.  Contact us today for a free 30 minute consultation with one of our helpful team.

Tel: 01245 893400
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU (2 minute walk from Chelmsford City station)
Alternatively you can fill in the form on our Contact Us page on this website.