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Probate fees to rise by up to 9,202% from May

Depositphotos 38813001 m-2015 (1)

Despite massive opposition, the Government has confirmed that it will introduce higher probate fees from May 2017.

At the moment, if probate is applied for by friends or family, a £215 flat fee applies (or £155 if a solicitor completes the process).

From May this year, however, the system will change, with the initial threshold being raised to £50,000 from £5,000. Probate fees will then be charged on a sliding scale based on the value of an estate, with a maximum fee of £20,000.

The ThisisMoney website reports that these price rises represent an increase of 40% up to 9,202% on current probate fees. The costs will be as follows:

  • £300 for estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000 (a 40% increase from £215)
  • £1,000 for estates worth more than £300,000 and up to £500,000 (a 365% rise)
  • £4,000 for estates worth more than £500,000 and up to £1million (a 1,760 % increase)
  • £8,000 for estates worth more than £1million and up to £1.6million (a 3,621% rise)
  • £12,000 for estates worth more than £1.6million and up to £2million (a 5,481% increase)
  • £20,000 for estates worth more than £2million (a 9,202% rise)

The other concern of probate fees is that these fees are payable upfront with the application, so anyone applying directly (i.e. not using a solicitor) will need to pay these monies within weeks of the person’s demise – adding further financial distress on top of funeral costs which cost an average £4,000.

This is the second rise in two years for the cost of probate fees. In April 2015, the Ministry of Justice increased court fees for probate applications through a solicitor by 244%, and by almost 105% for personal applications.