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Changes in probate fees that will affect millions of people in England and Wales have been confirmed by the government.

Changes in probate fees that will affect millions of people in England and Wales have been confirmed by the government.

Current probate fees stand at £215 for individual applications and £155 for those applying for probate through a solicitor; from May, these flat fees will be replaced by a banded approach, proportionate to the value of the estate.

The changes are part of a drive to raise £250 million towards funding the courts and tribunals service.

Fee levels
Currently the probate fee is chargeable on any estate worth more than £5,000. This threshold will rise to £50,000, meaning that, according to Ministry of Justice figures, 58% of estates will pay nothing at all under the new system. 

However, anyone with an estate worth more than £50,000 will pay considerably more.

Those worth between £50,000 and £300,000 will pay £300, with fees rising to a maximum of £20,000 for estates worth more than £2m.

Value of Estate Probate Fee from May 2017
Less than £50,000 £0
£50,000 to £300,000 £300
£300,000 to £500,000 £1000
£500,000 to £1m £4,000
£1m to £1.6m £8,000
£1.6m to £2m £12,000
Above £2m £20,000.00

The government has pushed through the proposals, first mooted in February 2016, in spite of strong opposition from the legal profession. Around 98 per cent of 831 respondents to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation process disagreed with the proposals. 

If you would like further advice or information about any matter relating to Wills, Probate or Inheritance Tax, please contact Iain Robson on 01325 466461 or email iain.robson@close-thornton.co.uk.

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