12 November 2018

The Ministry of Justice has revived controversial plans for sharp increases to probate fees that were abandoned just before the 2017 general election.


At present, applicants pay a flat fee of £215 (or £155 if the application is made through a solicitor). Under the new proposals, the fees will vary depending on the size of the estate. The largest estates, worth more than £2 million, will now bear a fee of £6,000 (compared to £20,000 under the earlier plan).  The government claims that around 80% of estates will pay £750 or less.


The new proposals have already attracted controversy. The Law Society has attacked them as a 'stealth tax'.  The charitable sector is also concerned about the effect on legacy income.  The higher fees will fall on the residue of an estate, which is often left to charity under a Will.


The government hopes to introduce the new fees in spring 2019.