When someone dies leaving assets in their sole name it is often necessary to apply for a Grant of Probate to enable their family to deal with their bank and building society accounts, their property and any other assets.
Whether a Grant of Probate is necessary depends on the value of the assets a person has in their sole name when they die. Currently around 50% of estates will require a Grant of Probate.
Currently no fee is payable if the estate is less than £5,000. For estates where the net assets exceed £5,000, a flat fee of £155 is payable if a solicitor is used to assist in making the application to obtain the Grant of Probate and a fee of £215.00 is payable if an application is made personally. However, things may be set to change with the government proposing a rise in the fee, payable up to £20,000 in some cases.
These proposals will be good news for some, with all estates worth less than £50,000 becoming exempt from the fee altogether but for anything worth more than £50,000 there is set to be a dramatic increase in the payable fee.
At present, it is proposed that the Probate fee will be paid on a sliding scale, depending on the value of the estate as follows:
- Estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000 – £300 fee
- Estates worth between £300,000 and £500,000 – £1,000 fee
- Estates worth between £500,000 and £1,000,000 – £4,000 fee
- Estates worth between £1,000,000 and £1,600,000 – £8,000 fee
- Estates worth between £1,600,000 and £2,000,000 – £12,000 fee
- Estates worth over £2,000,000 – £20,000 fee
The consultation closes on 1st April 2016, so we will have to wait and see whether the proposals come into effect.