The fee for applying for a grant of probate (or letters of administration) could increase dramatically to as much as £20,000.

The Government has today published the response to its consultation on proposals to reform fees for grants of probate (or letters of administration). The consultation, published last year, set out plans to dramatically increase fees for applications for grants of probate moving from the current flat fee of £155 (for applications made by Solicitors) to a new tiered structure based on the value of the Estate. Under these proposals, the maximum application fee would be £20,000 for Estates valued at more than £2million. A table showing all of the proposed fees is below. 

Despite an over whelming majority of those who responded to the consultation being against the proposals, the Government has announced that it intends to proceed with the fee increases as outlined in the consultation paper.

To give effect to these proposals, the Government will need to make the necessary Statutory Instruments, with early indications suggesting that this will happen by May 2017.

There are a number of long-term implications arising from this announcement such as arranging assets in such a way that probate is not required, but for the time being, the most important step is that if you are dealing with the Estate of a person who has died which exceeds £50,000, an application for Probate should be made as soon as possible to benefit from the existing, lower, fee.

The one fillet of good news in the response to the consultation is that the value of the estate where a fee is not charged will increase from £5,000 to £50,000.

If you require any assistance with making an application for Probate, please do not hesitate to contact the author, Matthew McCormick, Richard Monkcom or a member of Druces’ Private Client team.

A table of the proposed probate fees can be found following this link.

This news was posted on 24 February 2017.

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