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Increase in Probate fees


It has now been announced that the government’s proposal to increase the fees payable for probate applications in England and Wales, will come into effect in May this year.  This is despite strong opposition from members of the legal community and organisations such as STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners).

Instead of the flat fee of £155, the fee will now be based on the value of the estate.  There is a sliding scale of fees ranging from £300 to £20,000.  For those estates that are less than £50,000, there will be no fee payable.

 

Value of Estate

Probate Fee Payable

0 - £50,000

Nil

£50,001 - £300,000

£300

£300,001 - £500,000

£1,000

£500,001 - £1,000000

£4,000

£1,000,001 - £1,600,000

£8,000

£1,600,001 - £2,000,000

£12,000

£2,000,001 or more

£20,000

 

Executors across the country will need to consider how these fees will be paid and for some estates this will be easier than others.  Where cash is available in a bank account or simple investment it is proposed that Executors will be able to access these funds to meet the fee payable.  For those estates which may be property rich and cash poor, this may prove more difficult. 

The role of the Executor has never been more important.  It is essential to take advice, not only on the best way to deal with the estate generally, but also how to calculate the probate fee; how to fund the fee as well as the funding of any inheritance tax that is due.

For advice on this or any other matter concerning wills or probate, please contact Samantha Lloyd Head of our Wills and Probate team by email on Samantha.lloyd@smesolicitors.co.uk or by telephone on 01905 723 561.

Added: 21 Mar 2017 12:18


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