Probate Fees - Another “Tax” and another Government U-Turn?

The recent Budget proposed massive increases to the fee you need to pay to deal with someone’s estate when they’ve died in England and Wales.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal permission that is required to distribute someone’s Will after they have died. A Grant of Probate must usually be obtained before an executor can legally distribute the contents of a person’s estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the deceased’s will. Probate fees have been designed & used to cover the cost of the Government providing a service for this whole process.

The proposed new probate fees

Currently, there is a simple flat fee of just £215 to estates worth over £5K.  

The new sliding scale system the government wanted to introduce, based on the value of the estate, would have seen a dramatic increase in the amount executors need to pay to obtain probate. For example, an estate worth over £2m would mean fees of £20,000, a 9202% increase.

There was almost unprecedented opposition to the proposed changes from all interested parties. The new fee would have been significantly more than the actual cost of providing a probate system. – they are essentially just another death tax on any of us with estates worth over £50K (the new proposed threshold).

In the light of the impending general election, the Government has announced it will not now be going ahead with the proposed increases.

Let’s hope it is has discarded the plan completely and not simply put the proposals on ice until after the election.

We can assist with the sometimes complex process of obtaining probate and we specialise in saving you and your surviving family members massive amounts of inheritance tax, so your family keeps more of your hard-earned wealth.

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