Probate fees set to rise in May 2017
May 2017 will see a change to the fees charged when applying for a Grant of Probate in England & Wales.
Some estates may benefit from a lower charge, however, for others, a large fee will become payable in the event of the death of a loved one.
What is Probate?
If you find that you have been appointed to act as an Executor of someone’s Will, you might need to apply for a Grant of Probate. Even if there is no Will, as next of kin, you still might need to apply for Probate, but in this instance, you would be applying for Letters of Administration (the same fees apply).
A Grant of Probate is a document issued by a Probate Registry local to you, that confirms you are the appointed Executor of a Will or the next of kin of someone who has died and therefore the right person to deal with the bank accounts, shares, property and other belongings of someone who has died (the assets of the estate).
Depending upon the size and nature of the estate, you may need a Grant of Probate before you can do such things as close bank accounts or pay bills from a bank account. You will definitely need a Grant of Probate if you find you will need to sell shares or sell a property.
What will change?
The current fee payable on application for a Grant of Probate is £215 if applying personally or £155 if applying through a solicitor. Where the value of the assets in an estate is below £5,000, there is no fee payable.
If you are dealing with a Grant of Probate application from May 2017 onwards, a fee scale based on the value of the assets in an estate will be applied as follows:-
|Value of estate||Fee required|
|0 – £50,000||Nil|
|£50,001 – £300,000||£300|
|£300,001 – £500,000||£1000|
|£500,001 – £1,000,000||£4000|
|£1,000,001 – £1,600,000||£8000|
|£1,600,001 – £2,000,000||£12,000|
|£2,000,001 or more||£20,000|
For those estates with a value of £50,000 or less, no fee will be payable, so the change could be a positive one. We are advised that 58% of all estates in England & Wales will fall in to this category.
For those estates with a value of £50,001 or higher, however, the new fee could represent a 95% increase in some instances!
Why choose Johnson & Gaunt?
If you are an Executor dealing with an estate but have been delaying progressing your application for a Grant of Probate for whatever reason, now may be the time to push it through.
If you need assistance with an application for a Grant of Probate, we are a local, approachable firm, whose friendly and efficient staff can guide you through the processes involved, so why not contact us?
For more information and assistance please contact Sarah Horton in our Banbury office on 01295 759400 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Teresa Ingarfield in our Chipping Norton on 01608 643051 or email@example.com