The government is planning rises in probate fees according to the value of the property left by an individual in their will.
The consultation, which sets out proposals for reforming the fee, opened on 18 February, and runs until 1 April 2016. The current flat fee will change to a banded approach, proportionate to the value of the estate.
Not all properties need to go through probate, though. The value of the estate below which no fee is payable will rise from £5,000 to £50,000, lifting some estates out of paying any fee.
The changes are part of a drive to reduce the cost of running courts and tribunals, and raise £250 million for the Exchequer.
The proposed probate application fees are as follows:
- £300 for estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000
- £1,000 for estates worth more than £300,000 and up to £500,000
- £4,000 for estates worth more than £500,000 and up to £1 million
- £8,000 for estates worth more than £1m and up to £1.6 million
- £12,000 for estates worth more than £1.6m and up to £2 million
- £20,000 for estates worth more than £2 million
This follows last year’s increase in probate fees, which set probate application through a solicitor at £155 and personal applications, or those not through a solicitor, to £215.