The government did not proceed last year with plans to increase probate fees to a maximum of £20,000. However, following consultation, they are to go ahead with replacing the flat fee of £155 with a sliding scale of fees ranging from £250 up to a maximum of £6,000. At present,
a one-off fee of £155 is paid if using a solicitor to apply to the court for a grant of representation. The fee if applying in person is £215.
In future, for estates of up to £50,000 there will be no fees, thereafter estates of £50,000 to £300,000 will incur a fee of £250, rising to £2,500 for estates of £500,000 to £1m and a maximum of £6,000 for estates over £2m.
Secondary legislation is anticipated to be introduced later this month. Once enacted it is thought that 25,000 estates per annum will pay nothing and only 1 in 5 estates will pay more than £750.
However, STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) has indicated that 85% of estates would have been liable for higher fees based on 2014-15 figures.