Courtesy of the Society of Will Writers Trust Company
Last May the Ministry of Justice proposed the introduction of increased probate fees on a tiered system based on the deceased’s assets. This tiered system confirmed that lower value estates, up to £50,000 would be exempt from probate fees whereas those with assets of more than £1m will have to pay probate fees of between £8,000 and £20,000. Due to the General Election the plans were shelved as the Ministry of Justice concluded there was no time to pass the necessary legislation prior to the Election.
Yesterday, it was announced that the plan would be revisited. Few details have been revealed but we are advised that the fees would never be more than 0.5 per cent of the value of the estate.
The current probate fees are fixed at £215 where an estate value is more than £5,000 (or £155 for those applying through a solicitor). With the new proposed increase, an estate value of £250,000 would see a probate application fee of £1,250 – nearly six times more than the current fixed application fee.
HM Land Registry data in August this year reveals that, on average, house pricess have risen by 0.2% since July 2018 and an annual price rise of 3.2% – which makes the average property in the UK valued at £232,797.
From April 2019 if an estate is higher than £50,000 probate fees under the progressive fee regime are:-
· Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing, meaning estates worth between £5,000 and £50,000 will save £215 compared to the current system.
· Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
· Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
· Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
· Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785.
· Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
· Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.
The above fees apply in addition to any Inheritance Tax and other administrative costs that the estate would otherwise be liable for.
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