Associate Charlotte Pisuto comments on the latest announcement:
On 5th November the Government announced an increase in probate fees payable to the Probate Registry from April 2019 which many are calling the new “death tax”.
The unwelcome announcement comes after there was an attempt made last year to increase the fees, which would have seen some estates pay up to £20,000. These plans faced much criticism and were eventually dropped. Whilst the new fees are less, the fee payable will be between £250 and £6000 depending upon the value of the estate, with estates valued under £50,000 paying no fee at all. The reason for the increased fee is to fund proposed changes to the Court system, including the introduction of an online probate application process, although no deadline has been set for these changes.
The current fees are £215 for applications made by individuals or £155 if using a solicitor; no fee is payable for estates valued under £5000. This fee will be payable if you are required to obtain a Grant of Representation following death, this might be required to close a bank or building society account or to sell a house or cash in investments.
This news is likely to be distressing to many, and will undoubtedly cause further worry to grieving family members already finding funds to cover funeral costs where money from the estate is not easily accessible.
If you concerned about the burden of these increased fees following the loss of a loved one or perhaps you’d like to discuss what impact this may have on your loved ones after you’re gone our team of experts at Hugh Jones Solicitors will be happy to assist you. Guidance about our charges for assistance with probate matters are available here and for wills and estate planning here.