The Government has quietly announced the introduction of a new Probate Fee Schedule based on an estates value. It looks as though fees will be capped at £6,000 on estates over £2 million and on a sliding scale below this, with estates valued at less than £50,000 not requiring probate. These new charges are determined by the size of the estate.
- Up to £50,000: no charge
- £50,000- £300,000: £250
- £300,000- £500,000: £750
- £500,000 to £1 million: £2,500
- £1 million to £1.6 million: £4,000
- £1.6 million- £2 million: £5,000
- Above £2 million: £6,000
Relatively modest estates will therefore bear the brunt of closing the finance gap in the court system.
The good news is that over 50% of estates are valued below £50,000, so most people will avoid the current fee which is applied on estates valued over £50,000.
The planned introduction is April 2019, therefore it may be worthwhile looking at how assets are held for married couple, as well as those in civil partnerships. Jointly owned assets often do not require probate as the ownership automatically accrues to the survivor, but care needs to be taken when considering how assets are held. This may, however, help to avoid a significant probate fee on first death and again on the second.
If in doubt as to how this could affect you then you may like to seek legal advice.
If you would like further information on how this change may impact your financial plan or how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact your Lucas Fettes financial planner. Alternatively, call us directly on 01603 706 820 or email email@example.com.