GN Law - Our People News and TV

Court fees in Probate cases may rise dramatically

Our People - Anthea Cowles
20 April, 2016

Currently, applications for a grant of probate cost £155 when made by a solicitor and £215 for an individual. Estates worth less than £5,000 do not have to pay a fee.

On 18 February 2016, the government published a consultation (court fees: Consultation on proposals for reform fees for grants of probate, February 2016) that proposes a dramatic increase in these fees. The government expect to raise an additional £250 million a year to contribute towards the operational costs of the court.

The following table show the banding for the proposed fee structure: –

Value of estateFee payable
Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate£0
Exceeds £50,000 but does not exceed £300,000£300
Exceeds £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000£1,000
Exceeds £500,000 but does not exceed £1 million£4,000
Exceeds £1 million but does not exceed £1.6 million£8,000
Exceeds £1.6 million but does not exceed £2 million£12,000
Exceeds £2 million£20,000

Clearly, the fees do not reflect that actual work done by the Registry to process applications but then the consultation appears to openly accept that their purpose is to generate revenue.

Also, be aware that although any assets held as joint tenants passing by survivorship (or via the spousal exemption) are not included in the overall value of the estate for the purposes of calculating inheritance tax, the value IS included when identifying what probate fee is payable.

With housing values continuing to rise, a significant proportion of those applying for probate can expect to pay greatly increased fees in the future.

For more information, read the fee proposals for grants of probate consultation.

Related Articles

When someone passes away, their loved ones are often left with numerous emotional and legal responsibilities. Two terms that frequently arise during this process are ‘power of attorney’ and ‘probate’. But how do they differ?
Our People - Andrew Guile
If a person lacks testamentary capacity, the Court of Protection can order a will, known as a statutory will, to be created on their behalf.
Our People - Samuel Cole
Executors can act together or alone, but an executor cannot go against the terms of the will, breach their fiduciary duty, fail to act, self-deal, embezzle or harm the estate through neglect.
Our People - Andrew Guile
Receiving an inheritance can be the end of a complex process, and unfortunately, some beneficiaries find themselves in a situation where they haven't received the money they were left in a will.
Our People - Andrew Guile
The primary duty of an executor is to carry out the wishes of the deceased, include locating the original will, sorting out finances and applying for probate.
Our People - Andrew Guile
Most people appoint one or two executors and it’s wise to provide in your will for replacement executors in case one or more of the executors die before you or are unable or unwilling to act as executor after you die.
Our People - Andrew Guile

Send a message

We will only use the information you enter in this form to contact you about your enquiry and will not share it with anyone else. Please read our Privacy Notice.

Please note that we are not accepting any new housing work at this time.