MOJ Proposes New Probate Fees Regime
Issue Date : 18 February 2016
Issuing Department : Ministry of Justice (MOJ)
A banded approach to probate fees has been proposed by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Views are sought on proposals to impose fees of between £300 and £20,000, depending on the value of the estate. The value of an estate below which no fee is payable would rise from £5,000 to £50,000. The consultation is open until 1 April 2016.
Between 1981 and 1999, the probate fee scheme was linked to the net value of the estate. In 1999, this scheme was replaced by a flat fee scheme.
Applications for grants of probate are currently set at £155 when a grant of probate is sought by a solicitor, and £215 when the application is made by an individual. Estates that require probate but are worth less than £5,000 do not have to pay a fee.
Views are sought on a new proposed fee regime, under which a flat fee would be replaced by a banded fee approach. The fee would be proportionate to, and rise with, the value of the estate.
The value of the estate below which no fee is payable would rise from £5,000 to £50,000. According to the MoJ, this would exempt 30,000 estates from paying any fee.
Under the proposals, the following fees would apply:
- estates valued between £50,000 and £300,000—£300
- between £300,000 and £500,000—£1,000
- between £500,000 and £1m—£4,000
- between £1m and £1.6m—£8,000
- between £1.6m and £2m—£12,000
- above £2m—£20,000
The valuations are before inheritance tax is deducted.
The same fee would apply irrespective of whether the application is made by a solicitor or an individual.
The government is also considering whether grant of probate applications should be excluded from the fee remissions scheme.
According to the MoJ, the proposals would generate around £250m in additional income for HM Courts & Tribunal Service.
Responses should be sent by:
- online form
- email to: email@example.com
- post to: Jasmin Cheung, Court & Tribunal Fees Policy, Post Point 3.38, Ministry of Justice, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ
- telephone to: (020) 3334 5555
- fax to: (020) 3334 2233
The MoJ confirms the design stage of the new Probate Service will start in April 2016 and should be completed in April 2017.
Source: Consultation: Court fees—Proposals to reform fees for grants of probate