Probate fees set to soar in May 2017

Last week, the Ministry of Justice gave the go ahead to a significant increase in probate fees despite overwhelming opposition by legal experts and solicitors.

The official Grant of Probate (a document giving someone a legal right to deal with a deceased persons property, money and possessions; their ‘Estate’) currently costs £215 (or £155 if you use a solicitor). It is free if the estate is worth less than £5,000.

The new system of tiered charges which comes into effect this May will be based on the size of the estate; no fee if the estate is worth under £50,000; £300 for estates valued between £5,000 and £300,000; £1,000 for estates valued between £300,000 and £500,000; with the fees progressively rising until reaching £20,000 if the estate is worth above £2m.

It has been estimated that the Government could raise more than £250 million a year from these rise in fees, but what does this mean for those who are stung by the fees? The changes are most likely to affect families in London and the South of England where property prices have boomed in the past couple of decades, but whose assets outside the family home have not grown in the same proportion.

If you would like to speak to us about the new fees, or on any aspect regarding the administration of an Estate, please contact Julia Newland on Julia.Newland@GarsideandHoy.co.uk or 0208 427 5656.

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