Increase in court fees for grants of probate

You may be aware that, despite widespread opposition, the government proposes to increase the fees for the application of a grant of probate from May this year.

What is this fee?

When someone dies, the value of their estate is calculated and where appropriate inheritance tax (IHT) is payable. Once IHT has been paid, the executors of the estate apply for the grant of probate.  The grant is the executor’s authority to deal with the deceased’s estate and is needed to dispose of investments and property etc.

The fee to apply for the grant is currently £155 when applying through a solicitor and £215 for a personal application. These fees are the same and regardless of the value of the deceased’s estate.

The proposed new fees will be based on the gross value of the deceased’s estate as follows:

Value of estate Proposed fee
£50,000 to £300,000 £300
£300,000 to £500,000 £1,000
£500,000 to £1 million £4,000
£1 million to £1.6 million £8,000
£1.6 million to £2 million £12,000
More than £2 million £20,000

These increases, which are subject to parliamentary approval, are obviously huge. Many estates may struggle to find the cash to pay them.  If you are dealing with the administration of an estate, you should try to apply for the grant as soon as possible to avoid the increases.

If we can be of assistance, please contact us.