Life Matters: Can we help you beat the hike in probate fees?

09 Mar 2017

The Collyer Bristow review of private wealth management, real estate and family issues

LIFE matters
UPDATE

Collyer Bristow
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09 March 2017

Can we help you beat the hike in probate fees?


Probate application fees are set to increase dramatically from May 2017 following a recent announcement by the Ministry of Justice. The increases are subject to Parliamentary approval, but we expect them to be confirmed sometime in May. Once they are confirmed, we understand that they will come into effect in a matter of days, and will apply to all probate applications made from that point on.

The current fixed probate fees are £155 for solicitors’ applications and £215 for personal applications. The fee increase will be huge for all but the smallest estates. The new fees will be as follows:

Value of estate New fee
Up to £50,000 £ 0
£50,001 to £300,000 £ 300
£300,001 to £500,000 £ 1,000
£500,001 to £1,000,001 £ 4,000
£1,000,001 to £1,600,000 £ 8,000
£1,600,001 to £2,000,000 £ 12,000
£2,000,001 and above £ 20,000


One practical issue with having to find up to £20,000 on application for the grant is that executors do not have access to an estate’s assets until the grant of probate has been issued. There is therefore the question of how to fund the probate fees.We understand that banks and some other financial institutions may be able to pay the fees direct to the court from the deceased’s funds if instructed. However, this does potentially put those who are asset-rich but cash-poor at risk meaning that their executors may have to make other arrangements to fund the fees through bank and/or personal loans.

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In this issue...

What can be done in the face of higher probate fees?

For further information please contact:

James Badcock
Partner, Head of Private Client Services

020 7470 4453
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Peter Daniel
Partner
020 7468 7351
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James Cook
Senior Associate
020 7468 7251

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Francis Merritt
Chartered Legal Executive
020 7470 4529
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Disclaimer: The content of this newsletter is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal or other professional opinion should be taken before taking or omitting to take any action in respect of any specific problem. Collyer Bristow LLP accepts no liability for any loss or damage which may arise from reliance on information contained in this newsletter.

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