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UPDATE – The MOJ have on the 21st April 2017, scrapped the proposed increase in probate fees. Whether this remains the case after the election is still to  be decided. 

The MOJ have recently announced a proposed increase in probate fees, despite strong objections from the legal profession.

The new proposed fees are to be based on the value of the estate left by an individual in their will, and will be set out in the following sliding scale:

Estate Value                                                      Proposed Fee

£50,000                                                                £0

£50k- 300k                                                           £300

£300k -500k                                                        £1,000

£500k- 1 million                                                 £4,000

£1m- 1.6m                                                           £8,000

£1.6m – 2m                                                         £12,000

£2m +                                                                    £20,000

The current fees are £215 or £155 for those applying through a solicitor.

It has been argued that the new sliding scale system is fairer, with the lower value estates being removed entirely from paying any probate fees. However with no set implementation date, solicitors and individuals alike who are dealing with high value estates, will likely be looking to ensure that all applications are submitted before the relevant date in order to avoid the hike in fees.

Solicitors with outstanding probate applications, will also need to ensure that there is no delay on their part in filing the relevant application, in order to warrant that no allegations of negligence arise.