Probate fees to increase May 2017: What does this mean for you?

Last will and testament document

In May 2017, it has been announced that the Government will be introducing a rise in probate fees. This increase in fees will affect those whose estate is worth more than £50,000 and exempt from any charges those whose estate is worth less.

Probate fees are currently based on a flat fee system of £215, if applied for by friends or family, or £155 if using a Solicitor. The new rates being introduced are based on a tiered structure depending on an individual’s assets (see table below).

How this will affect your estate

If your estate is below the £50,000 threshold, like 58% of all estates in England Wales, the fee will be £0. However, the fees increase dramatically the more your estate is worth. Those with assets worth more than £1m will be required to pay probate fees of between £8,000 and £20,000.

Concerns were raised from respondents regarding the financial well fair of executors should funds be unavailable or insufficient. However the Government has said that the increased fees will help fund the courts and tribunal systems "in the long term". Under Section 180 of the Anti-social, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the Lord Chancellor has the right to adjust the fees.

If you have any questions on the probate fee changes taking place in May 2017, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Wills, Probate and Trusts Team.

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