Probate Fees

Photo credit: Melinda Gimpel

The Ministry of Justice has announced changes to Probate Fees from April 2019.

Current Fees:

  • £215.
  • £155 if applying through a solicitor.
  • No fee if Estate is valued at less than £5,000.

New fees (subject to Parliament approval):

Assessed value of Estate Fee
£50,000 - £300,000 £250
£300,000 - £500,000 £750
£500,000 - £1M £2,500
£1M - £1.6M £4,000
£1.6M - £2M £5,000
£2M + £6,000

The changes only apply to England and Wales.

Probate describes the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the assets of a person who has died.

Before the next of kin, or Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased assets they will normally have to apply for Probate.

When Probate has been granted by Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration the next of kin or Executor can start to deal with the deceased person’s Estate, in accordance with the Will, or the Laws of Intestacy – if the deceased did not have a Will.

Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd – Comments

  • This is significant increase in the fee, which could affect a number of Estates, especially in London and the South East.
  • There is a potential problem as cash is likely to be needed by the personal representatives to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in order to access the assets held within the Estate. If cash is not available, then the personal representatives may need to borrow to pay the fee.

There are solutions to this potential problem:

  • Life policies written under Trust can be paid out without Grant of Probate.
  • Death benefits from most personal pensions can be accessed, it is sensible to have a nomination of beneficiary in place.
  • Most married and partnered couples below State Pension age can claim a Bereavement Support payment.

Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd can assist with ensuring that there is sufficient cash available to pay Probate Fees.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on wwfs@wardwilliams.co.uk.

Tax, IHT

About the author

Cliff, Director of Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd, has nearly 30 years experience in the Financial Services Industry with a variety of institutions including a major Private bank. He established WWFS in 2003 and is qualified to Diploma level. Cliff has advised numerous clients on all aspects of Financial Planning including Wills and Estate Planning.  He has a deep understanding of the need to plan wisely in this ever-changing world. His interest and enjoyment, however, still comes from meeting with clients and helping them put the financial side of their lives in better order. Cliff has lived in the Weybridge area for over 25 years and is married with two grown-up children. A keen sportsman, he loves playing cricket, hockey and golf – but these days probably spends more time spectating!