The government has recently proposed changes to the cost of Probate throughout England and Wales. The new system will take into account how much the deceased’s estate is worth, with the current flat fee becoming a thing of the past.
Currently, Probate fees stand at an affordable flat rate of £215, regardless of how much the estate is worth, but with the new government proposal, these are set to sky rocket.
The way that Probate works at the moment is that when the executor of an estate applies for Grant of Probate, the £215 is charged to cover the cost of the Probate solicitor working out the assets and ensuring that they go to the correct beneficiary. As it stands, everyone pays a flat rate, regardless if the estate is worth £5,000 or £5 million.
The new arrangement will see the rates rise to a tiered system with the minimum fee payable coming in at £300, though this is for estates with a value of more than £50,000.
This means good news for some, as under the new ruling, estates worth less than £50,000 will no longer be liable for Probate fees at all. This is a huge increase from the previous bottom limit of £5,000, and means that an estimated 30,000 applications for Probate will no longer have to pay for the service.
For estates worth over £50,000, the new rates will be tiered according to total value:
From here, the new Probate fees rise until they reach the sky-high rate of £20,000 for any estates valued at over £2m.
Executors of the estate should also bear in mind that these are just Probate prices, and don’t include inheritance tax, which will increase these prices even more.
While The Institute of Chartered Accountants have knocked the new legislation, referring to it as a “revenue raising exercise”, which they say is unconnected to how much the services provided actually cost, others have cited it a necessary change in legal costs.
The final details of the proposal are yet to be released, and at Best Value Probate, we’ll be keeping our eye on the progress and letting you know as soon as any changes occur, but for now there’s no need to panic, our prices are staying the same, and we’ll continue to offer the best value on Probate for as long as possible.
To find out more about the changes to Probate, or to see what we can do for you while in the stages of applying for Probate, call our expert team on 0207 406 5875.
Ellie is a resident writer for Best Value Probate, covering topics such as Probate, wills and other legal proceedings.