Probate Fees, Are There Options For mitigation?

Parliament are implementing legislation in April 2019 which means Probate fees will be banded. Currently, Probate fees are fixed at £215 – or £155 for families who use a Solicitor regardless of the estate value.

In the written statement to Parliament (5 November 2018) Under Secretary of State for Justice Lucy Frazer QC MP stated that the increase in fee was an essential element of funding effective, modern courts and tribunals service”.

Despite the statement that “these fees will never be unaffordable” there will be a huge increase in fees for most clients.

Executors of the Estate will be expected to pay an upfront fee which could be impractical for many when assets are tied up in frozen bank accounts or property. It’s likely that executors will have no option but to fund these fees personally, borrowing money to be able to foot the bill.

Rising probate costs

Under the proposed new system, estates valued at more than £2m will now pay £6,000, while those worth between £1.6m and £2m will pay £5,000 and those between £1m and £1.6m £4,000.

Estates worth between £500,000 and £1m will have to find £2,500, while those in the £50,000 to £300,000 price bracket will pay a more affordable £250. Those valued at less than £50,000 will be exempt compared with the current and lower threshold of £5,000.

According to estimates, one in five families who pay fees will need to find at least £2,500.

Are there options for mitigation?

It’s possible there are options to mitigate these fees for your clients.

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This article was submitted to be published by Countrywide Tax and Trust Corporation Ltd as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.


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