The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has launched a new consultation on probate fees which proposes a small increase to the current fees and a single flat rate fee regardless of who is making the application or the value of the estate.
Currently, fees apply to estates over £5,000 with a discrepancy between professional and non-professional applicants. Applications made by lawyers cost just £155 whereas those made by individuals are £215. The MOJ Consulted on changes in 2016 that would have led to very steep increases in the fees on a sliding scale depending on the size of the estate. These proposals were postponed, then revived in 2018, still with increased fees, but at lower levels than previously suggested. They were finally dropped in October 2019.
This new consultation proposes a small increase to £273 and to align the fees for professional and non-professional applicants. This will apply to all sizes of estate from 2022. Estates below £5,000 will remain exempt from the fees.
Useful guides on this topic
IHT: Estate planning checklist
This checklist covers some of the essential planning points that taxpayers should know when planning for their estate and Inheritance Tax (IHT).
Changes to IHT & Probate rules 2014 & 2020
A guide to changes to the intestacy rules and definition of chattels for probate.
Client Briefing: Making gifts & IHT
Making gifts and Inheritance Tax (IHT). This note explains the key rules on making tax-effective gifts for IHT purposes.
Deed of variation
What is a deed of variation? When can a deed of variation be used? What are the requirements for a valid deed of variation?
Consultation: Aligning the fees for grants of probate to cost recovery