The Ministry of Justice has recently confirmed how it would like to reform fees for the Grant of Probate. Currently there is a flat fee system of £215 where there is a personal application or £155 for those applying through a solicitor.
The Government is proposing to introduce a banded system. Estates below £50,000 will pay nothing. A minimum fee of £300 applies for estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000 rising to a whopping £20,000 fee for estates worth over £2.0 million. There are a variety of bands in between, all of which see a significant rise. These changes are expected to be implemented by May 2017.
These proposals not only add a potentially significant cost to a deceased’s estate however we understand that the fee will need to be payable upfront which could be a significant problem when there are not the cash reserves within the estate to pay it. This will put Executors or beneficiaries in the position where they need to personally pay the fee and then be reimbursed later.
Whilst the Probate procedure is very often dealt with solicitors, Butler Sherborn’s Professional Valuation department is frequently asked to help provide formal Probate Valuations as part of that process. As a result of the rise in probate fees it will be even more important to ensure that Probate valuations are undertaken properly and robustly to ensure that no more tax or probate fees are paid than is absolutely necessary.
Butler Sherborn are always happy to provide fee quotes for providing such valuations without any obligation or commitment.