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What The Government's Probate Fee Increase Means

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The Government has announced it will go ahead with plans to raise probate fees on bigger estates. Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s specialist private client solicitor Jessica Morton explains more on the so-called 'death tax'.

Justice Minister Lucy Frazer has announced that the Government will go ahead with the planned probate fee increases, albeit on a lesser scale.

At present, the probate court fee is a flat fee of £155 if a solicitor applies for probate on your behalf, or £215 if you do it yourself.

Last year, after widespread opposition, the Government withdrew plans to revise the probate fee structure to a banded system whereby the fee payable would be based on the value of the estate.

So what does it now mean?

These proposals would have resulted in significant increases in fees to the extent that some estates would have had to pay a probate fee up to £20,000.

The new banded fee structure will see estates worth less than £50,000 paying no fee, with larger estates paying a maximum of £6,000.

Frazer said ‘Fees are an essential element of funding an effective, modern courts and tribunals service, thereby ensuring and protecting access to justice.’

The introduction of the new fees will be in addition to any inheritance tax payable and will add another layer to the complexities of estate planning and administration.

Jessica Morton is a Wills and Probate specialist solicitor. To speak to her about this or any other matter, contact Jessica on jmorton@tbilaw.co.uk or 01740 669248.

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