Despite past resistance, the Government might be introducing an increase in probate fees as soon as April 2019. At the moment, there is a flat fee to apply for probate when someone has died. The fee is currently £215 if the value of the estate is £5,000 or over (£155 if applying through a solicitor) - there's no fee if the estate is under £5,000.
If the new scale of fees is introduced, this could increase the fees to as much as £6,000. The new fees would be based on a sliding scale according to the value of the estate. Those valued at under £50,000 would avoid the fee.
The Government has argued that this is a 'progressive' banded system. Others have branded it a 'stealth tax'.
We do not usually report on changes that have not yet been introduced. However, there is still time for Personal Representatives to apply for probate before April 2019 and pay the much lower fees currently applicable.
If the changes are introduced, we will report in a future newsletter. In the meantime, Personal Representatives might want to consider making an application for probate before it is too late.
Obtaining probate can be a difficult and complex matter, even on relatively low value estates.
To discuss this or any other probate related matter, contact us.