U-turn on probate fees
Ahead of the general election, the government postponed plans for a sharp rise in probate fees. Obtaining a grant of probate is the process by which someone is given authority to deal with the property, money and possessions of a person after they die. It is usually applied for by the executor of a Will or someone acting on their behalf.
Currently, probate is free if the deceased’s estate is valued at less than £5,000. For estates above that figure, a grant of probate costs £155 if you use a solicitor, or £215 if you apply yourself.
WHAT THE CHANGES WOULD HAVE MEANT
Under the proposal, whilst estates under £50,000 would be free, at the other end of the scale a £2m estate would be charged as much as £20,000. On an estate valued at £300,000 the fees would be £300.
The proposals, which had been earmarked to reduce the net annual cost of running the court system, had attracted criticism from MPs, peers and the media. It will now be up to the new government to decide whether the plans should go ahead, and if so, in what form.