News & Events
Probate Fees Soon to Increase for the Wealthiest In Britain
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: News
Recently, Parliament passed a bill which will increase probate fees for all, but will have a particular effect on the richest members of society. This move will come into effect in April 2019.
Probate fees are those paid on a person’s estate following their death. At the moment, a flat rate of £215 is charged regardless of the value of the estate. This will change to a maximum amount of £6,000 to be levied on multi-millionaires. At the same time, some of the poorest families will not pay any fee at all, which is expected to affect 25,000 families a year.
Each year 275,000 families are expected to pay probate fees. The new law will mean 20% of the 275,000 will be asked to pay £750 or more, while 60% will pay just £250. Anyone with a relative’s estate which is worth more than £500,000 may feel the pinch more than others.
The old rules for Grant of Probate fees
At the moment, families who apply without a solicitor pay just £215 for a grant of probate for estates valued at £5,000 or more.
The new rules for Grant of Probate fees
The flat rate fee is to be replaced by a sliding scale rate which depends on the value of the estate. This takes effect in April 2019.
- For a relative’s estate with a value which is under £50,000 there will be no probate fee.
- For a relative’s estate worth from between £50,000 and £300,000 the probate fee will be £250.
- For a relative’s estate with a value of between £300000 and £500,000, the probate fee will be £750.
- For a relative’s estate worth between £500k and £1million, the probate fee will be £2,500.
- For a relative’s estate worth between £1million and £1.6 million, the probate fee will be £4,000.
- For a relative’s estate worth between £1.6m and £2m, the probate fee will be £5,000.
- For a relative’s estate worth over £2m the probate fee will be £6,000.
Facts about Grant of Probate
Despite the fees charged for a Grant of Probate it doesn’t mean you receive it straightaway. Once it’s been applied for it can take about 6 weeks before you receive it. If the estate the Grant of Probate has been requested for is more complex, a Grant of Probate can take several months to be issued. It can take around 3 months to receive a Grant of Probate if property has to be sold first. However, for most estates in England & Wales it usually takes between 6 and 9 months before beneficiaries are likely to receive their inheritances.
Can probate be avoided?
It is expected that wealthier people will try to avoid the need for probate by setting up a living trust. This is a place where your assets and property are held “in trust.” The living trust is managed by a trustee. This is beneficial for your beneficiaries. It means you can avoid probate completely because your assets and property have already been distributed to the trust.