Increase in probate fees as government introduces new “death tax”
For an estate worth more than £2 million, a Grant of Probate will cost £6,000 (as opposed to the current fee of £215).
From April 2019 the cost of probate fees will be calculated using a sliding scale, based on the value of the estate (as opposed to the current fixed-rate fee).
This is going to have a huge impact for any large estates, as for an estate worth more than £2 million, the Grant of Probate will cost £6,000 (as opposed to the current fee of £215).
The new fees:
Value of estate
New probate fee
£50,000 to £300,000
£500,000 to £1 million
£1 million to £1.6 million
£1.6 million to £2 million
over £2 million
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Justice Lucy Frazer MP said:
“This new banded fee model represents a fair and more progressive way to pay for probate services compared to the current flat fee and reflects our commitment to protecting access to justice by ensuring we have a properly funded and resourced courts system.
“We are also confident these fees will never be unaffordable. The cost of the fee is recoverable from the estate and executors have several options to fund it. Moreover, the Lord Chancellor retains a power to remit a fee if he considers there are exceptional circumstances.”
That said, there are fears that there will be some executors who may struggle to pay the up-front fee to get probate when assets are tied up in frozen bank accounts or property.