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O-o-o-oh Probate Court Fees, here we go again!

07 Nov 2018

Many of you will recall the proposal put forward last year to increase the cost of obtaining a Grant of Representation when someone dies, from £155 up to £20,000 for some estates.

Due to the snap General Election last year there was not enough time to pass the proposal as law before Parliament was dissolved, but it was always feared that the matter would come back on the agenda.

This was confirmed earlier this week; on the day we remember the discovery of Guy Fawkes and the plot to blow up The Houses of Parliament. However, there were no fireworks accompanying the announcement made by the Minister of Justice.

The proposal put forward will see the cost of obtaining a Grant of Representation increase depending on the value of the deceased person’s estate.

The fees will not be as high as £20,000 as previously proposed, but will still see a considerable increase in the cost to an estate, which has again been seen by many as a stealth tax.

The table below sets out the new fee structure which is to be put before Parliament:

Value of Estate

Proposed New Fee

  • Up to £5,000
  • £0
  • £5,000 – £50,000
  • £0
  • £50,001 – £300,000
  • £250
  • £300,001 – £500,000
  • £750
  • £500,001 – £1m
  •  £2,500
  • £1m – £1.6m
  •  £4,000
  • £1.6m – £2m
  • £5,000
  • Over £2m
  •  £6,000

Probate Court Fees

Unlike the summer blockbuster sequel to Mamma Mia, which was full of love and laughter, this sequel has been the complete opposite and will be a concern for many recently bereaved families. Advice to Executors and Administrators is to make applications for Grants of Representation as soon as possible.

The proposed increase in Probate Court Fees could also see a rise in lifetime planning using trusts to hold property and other assets to avoid the need for obtaining a Grant of Representation on death.

At Hay & Kilner our team of expert advisers in the firm’s Private Client Department can assist Executors and Administrators on all aspects of estate administration and advise individuals about Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax and Succession Planning.

For more information on any of the above, or how we can help your business, please contact Richard Marshall, or call 0191 232 8345.