header telephone iconFleet +44 (0)1252 622 422

Guildford +44 (0)1483 320114

Mobile Menu
Mobile Menu

Are Probate Fees increasing?

In November 2018, the Government announced that probate fees would be paid as a sliding scale which will depend on the value of the estate. The Government were planning to implement the change from 1st April 2019 however it appears the changes still need to be approved by Parliament and no date has been set for this to happen.

What is Probate?

When someone dies, all their cash, property and possessions need to be collected in and distributed in accordance with their Will or under the rules of intestacy (if they do not have a Will).

If the deceased left a Will, the person appointed as their Executor will be responsible for collecting in the assets. In order to do this, they may need to apply for a Grant of Probate. This is a legal document which confirms the Executor has the authority to deal with the deceased’s assets under the Will.

If there is no Will, the next of kin will need to obtain a Grant of Representation. This is the document which proves their authority to administer the estate.

Both the Grant of Probate and Grant of Representation are commonly known as “Probate”.

In order to apply for Probate, the Executor or Personal Representative need to apply to the Probate Court and pay the fee which is currently £215 (£155 if processed through a solicitor) and this is payable on an estate valued at £5,000 or more.

What are the changes?

The Government have now proposed on increasing the fees so they will depend on the amount the estate is worth. This will be the same whether you use a solicitor or apply independently. The proposed fees are as follows:

Estate value range: Probate Fee: Difference in price:

£0 - £50,000 £0 A saving of £215
£50,000 - £300,000 £250 An increase of £35
£300,000 - £500,000 £750 An increase of £535
£500,000 - £1 million £2,500 An increase of £2,285
£1 million - £1.6 million £4,000 An increase of £3,785
£1.6 million - £2 million £5,000 An increase of £4,785
£2 million + £6,000 An increase of £5,785

Why are the probate fees increasing?

The justification for increasing the fees is a result of an Office for Budget Responsibility report which states that the new probate fee structure is expected to generate £155 million a year in additional revenue. These funds will then be used for the running of the courts and tribunal services.

What to do about it?

Probate fees will be based on the value of assets in the deceased’s sole name and those held by the deceased jointly as tenants in common. Joint assets held as joint tenants such as bank accounts should not be taken into account. The value of some life insurance policies and pensions which pass outside of your estate may be disregarded when calculating the fees as well.

Watson Thomas Solicitors have offices in Fleet, Hampshire and Guildford, Surrey

For further information, please visit our website at www.watson-thomas.co.uk or call us at our Fleet Office on 01252 622422 or our Guildford Office on 01483 320114 to book a FREE Initial Consultation with one of our family law solicitors or email any enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .