Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died, which generally means clearing their debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their will. In cases where there is no will, the family must apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’.
Currently for estates worth more than £5,000, there is a flat fee of £215 if a family applies for probate and £155 if they apply through a solicitor or licensed accountant like Charlton Baker.
In November last year the Government announced changes to probate fees that some critics have referred to as a ‘hidden tax’.
Although the proposals see the threshold increase from £5,000 to £50,000, estates in excess of this threshold will be hit with the increased fee. For example, for estates worth £2 million plus, the fee has increased by nearly 3,000% to £6,000!
The probate fees order is due to be debated when the UK parliament returns after the summer recess meaning the uplifted fees could apply from as early as the end of September 2019.
If your loved one has recently passed away and probate is required, please contact our legal services team as soon as possible so that we can assist you in applying for probate before the increase in fees takes effect.