Blog: Rising cost of securing probate

Families up and down the country face an increase in the cost of administering the estate of a loved one.

The cost of securing a grant of probate is increasing to as much as £6,000 for estates valued at more than £2 million.

At present, if you are planning to apply for a grant of probate in person you will have to pay £215. This falls to £155 if you use a solicitor.

But from April 2019, the Government is introducing a sliding scale of charges starting at zero for estates below £50,000 with everyone paying more once the value has passed that threshold.

The Government is linking the charge to the size of the estate but says the fee would never be more than 0.5 per cent of the value.

An executor needs to apply for probate to give them the legal right to distribute and settle someone’s estate when they die.

Executors will have to pay the fee up front before claiming it back from the estate once probate has been granted.

The new fee bands are based on the value of the estate before inheritance tax:

£0 – up to £50,000
£250 – £50,000 – £300,000
£750 – £300 000 – -£500,000
£2,500 – £500,000 – £1 million
£4,000 – £1 million – £1.6 million
£5,000 – £1.6 million – £2 million
£6,000 – above £2 million

“Potential executors will need to now consider how they would cover the cost of the fees in advance of the estate being distributed, £6,000 isn’t a small amount of money to find,” said clifton Wealth Chartered Financial Planner Emma Hall. “Will this impact people’s willingness to take on this role or could it increase the charges applied by solicitors to account for the upfront fees?”

Emma Hall BSc (Hons) FPFS,
Chartered Financial Planner, Clifton Wealth Limited

Contact Emma on 01275 813709 or email emma.hall@clifton-wealth.co.uk