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The Government announced in 2018 plans to introduce a new six-band probate fee structure which is set to replace the existing flat fee of £215 (or £155 when paid through a solicitor) to take effect in April 2019.

Probate fees are payable when the executors of an individual’s estate apply for a grant of probate to allow them to gather the assets of the estate and distribute them to beneficiaries in accordance with any directions set out in the individual’s Will.

Many have viewed these proposed changes with controversy with some expressing the view that it is no longer merely an administrative fee but a ‘stealth tax’ or ‘death tax’ being used to subsidise other areas.

The proposed new six-band system is as follows:

Value of Estate (Before Inheritance Tax) Proposed Fee
Up to £50,000 (or exempt from requiring grant of probate) £0
£50,000.01-£300,000 £250    
£300,000.01 -£500,000 £750
£500,000.01-£1 Million £2,500
>£1 Million – £1.6 Million £4,000
>£1.6 Million – £2 Million £5,000
>£2 Million £6,000

The reasons behind the controversy surrounding this newly proposed system are clear, as those with an estate valued over £2 Million could be facing between a 2,690 – 3,770 per cent increase on existing probate fees.

Should you like to know any further information, or should you have a question about how the proposed increase in probate fees may affect you, please do get into contact with a member of our probate team.