The Ministry of Justice announced this week that the government will move forward with a new branded structure for probate fees. This system was announced last year but put on hold before the snap general election. It has been stressed that all money raised from these new fees will be spent on running the courts and tribunal service.
Currently a flat fee of £215 is payable, or £155 if an application is made through a solicitor. No fee is payable if the estate is below £5000.
Under the new rules, which would come into force from next April, no fee will be payable on estates below £50,000. A fee is however payable for estates over this, the exact fee will then depend on the value of the estate before inheritance tax is payable.
Fees will never be more than 0.5% of the estate’s value. The minimum fee is £250, and the maximum fee is £6000 for estates over two million. This is lower than the £20,000 maximum fee planned last year.
It is currently unclear how executors will pay these fees, however the announcement states that the fee will be recoverable from the estate and the executors will have several options to fund it. The MOJ state that a guidance document will be published before the fees come into force.