Government changes to probate fees
It was originally intended that from April 2019 the government would be make changes to the probate fee structure resulting in probate fees being paid on a sliding scale rather than a flat fee. However, the changes are on hold, with it unlikely that they will happen before June. Rhoda Cooper, director at Finch Tax, explains the forthcoming changes.
What are the changes to probate fees?
The government has proposed to change the probate fee structure, so that probate fees, which are paid when administering the estate (the total value assets) of someone who has died, will be paid on a sliding scale based on the value of the estate, rather than as a flat fee.
There will also be an increase to the estate threshold, which will mean that estates valued up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate won’t incur any probate application fees. Currently, there was a fee on estates over £5,000.
If the estate is worth less than £50,000 then there will be no fee for an application for a grant of probate, which gives you the authority to administer the estate of someone who has died.
What do the changes to probate fees mean for me?
If the estate you’re administering is worth less than £50,000 then there will be no fee for an application for a grant of probate.
The exact fees for estates over £50,000 are as follows:
Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 – £250 fee
Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 – £750 fee
Estates worth £500,000 up to £1 million – £2,500 fee
Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million – £4,000 fee
Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million – £5,000 fee
Estates worth more than £2 million – £6,000 fee
According to the government, “80% of estates will pay £750 or less and 60% of applicants will still be paying a comparable fee to what they pay now.”
The government has stated that they have revised the amounts so that they are never more than 0.5% of the value of the estate. They have also stated that the income raised from these changes will be spent on running the courts and tribunal service.
These changes will apply to estates in England and Wales only.
At Finch Tax we offer a comprehensive estate administration service, to help ease the burden during a distressing time. Contact us for a non-obligation discussion.