There has been wide coverage in the media of the potential increase to Probate fees. However, as we stand today this has not been implemented and there has been no fixed date for this. Under the proposed plans, which have been opposed by many such as the Law Society, Probate fees would be linked to the size of the estate on a sliding scale. Estates valued at over £2million would be charged £6,000. By way of comparison the current fee when using a solicitor is £155.
One of the arguments against the proposed hike is that the cost to the Courts for granting Probate does not change whether the estate is worth £20,000 or £2million. It has been said that charging larger estates is effectively a tax through the back door rather than a genuine fee. The Law Society have organised a campaign encouraging members to contact their local MP objecting to the proposals which members of our private client team have done. If and when there is any more news on this we will keep you informed.
One proposal that has been pushed forward is a change to the actual Grant of Probate. This was a yellow document, the original having a copy of the Will attached where appropriate. The Grant of Probate has been redesigned and it now on a white sheet of paper. There is no original document. The focus has been on fraud and security with the introduction of a hologram and a phone number to check the validity.
If you require any assistance in respect of any probate matter then please contact our offices and speak with a member of our probate team.