How much does UK probate cost? A lot more from April 2019!

How much does UK probate cost? A lot more from April 2019!

How much does UK probate cost? A lot more from April 2019!

by | Inheritance

If you have had to administer a loved ones estate, you know what probate is and what it costs.

For those of you who have not been involved in the process, probate is the legal process of securing the control of a deceased persons estate. The will is ‘proven’ or authenticated by the court.  If there is no will, the probate court will distribute the estate according to the law of intestacy.  Executors and administrators are appointed.  The deceased’s final bills will be settled, taxes will be paid and their legacy distributed.

Until this year, probate cost £215 or £155 if a solicitor applied on your behalf.  This was a flat fee for all applications.

However in February 2019, in a move some journalists called cynical and underhanded, the fee system was changed to tiered fees based on the value of the estate.  Branded a ‘stealth death tax’ by some British newspapers, the new tiered fee system for probate will generate an extra £185 million a year from the charges by 2022/23 for the Ministry of Justice.  The UK’s Law Society is campaigning against the change, and has called on British MPs to oppose it.

So how much is probate going to cost you from now on?

  • Estates under £50,000 are exempt from the fee.
  • Estates valued up to £300,000 will be charged £250
  • Estates valued up to £500,000 will be charged £750
  • Estates valued up to £1 million will be charged £2,500
  • Estates valued up to £1.6 million will be charged £4,000
  • Estates valued up to £2 million will be charged £5,000
  • Estates in excess of £2 million will be charged £6,000

The fee has to be paid up front.  This means executors will have to raise the funds personally as they will not have access to the deceased funds until probate has been completed.  There is no longer a discount for using a solicitor.

So when a loved one asks you to be their UK executor, be aware that there is a potential personal financial burden on administering their estate.  And a lot of paperwork and admin……

 

 

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