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Bereaved Families Could Be Hit With Huge Fees For Managing Loved Ones’ Affairs

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Late last year, the Government proposed an increase in Probate Fees for Spring 2019.

The increase would see Estates worth £50,000 or less not having to pay a fee at all however Estates worth £2 million or more would be paying a sum of £6,000 for the same identical sealed document.

What is a Probate Fee?

When someone dies it is common for the personal representatives of the estate to need to close an account with a balance of more than £5,000 or sell a property owned by the deceased. In these cases, you will need to obtain a Grant of Representation to prove to the bank or conveyancer that you have the legal authority to do so.

A Grant of Probate is issued when the deceased died with a valid Will and Letters of Administration are issued if the deceased died without a valid Will.

The probate fee is the fee that the Probate Registry charge to produce this document for you. Currently, it is a standard fee for any size estate of £155.00 if a legal professional applies for the Grant of Representation on behalf of a client or £215.00 if the personal representatives apply personally.

The charges are intended to be changed to:

Estates valued £50,000 or less will pay nothing.

Estates with a value between £50,000 and £300,000 will pay £250.

Estates with a value between £300,000 and £500,000 will pay £750.

Estates with a value between £500,000 and £1 million will pay £2,500.

Estates with a value between £1 million and £1.6 million will pay £4,000.

Estates with a value between £1.6 million and £2 million will pay £5,000.

Estates with a value over £2 million will pay £6,000.

Many personal representatives are pushing for applications to be made before the increase is implemented. Yet, personal representatives should be aware that any mistakes and misinformation provided to HM Revenue & Customs could have costly penalties which the personal representative could be personally liable for – not the Estate.

The new fees were set to increase in spring 2019. As it stands the Fees Order is still subject to an approval motion in the House of Commons and has not yet been scheduled. This has many Private Client lawyers wondering whether it will be introduced at all given that the original increase date was set for the 1st April 2019.

If you need any advice, contact our Specialist Team

Beth Kay

Posted:

Beth Kay

ACILEx

Beth is a member of our Private Client Team, and an associate member of ILEX (ACILEx). Since joining the firm in 2015, Beth has considerable experience of dealing with all manner of enquiries relating to a diverse range of legal needs including Wills, probate, trusts,…