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Ministry of Justice plans could see probate fees increase by 9000%

The introduction of new 'banded' probate fees could see clients inheriting an estate worth £2 million charged up to £20,000, reports FT Adviser. 

Following a consultation earlier this year, the Government is planning to introduce a sliding scale of charges for probate based on the value of the estate.  The proposed changes would see fees rise from a standard charge of £215 for all estates, up to a maximum of £20,000.

  • £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

It has been suggested that asset rich, cash poor families could be most significantly affected, with rising property prices meaning that 'ordinary' families who have benefited from the increased value of their homes could now be heavily penalised.    

Tom Curran, Chief Executive of estate administration specialist Kings Court Trust, commented: "The proposed increase in probate fees could have a significant impact on the clients of financial advisers and other families who have to deal with the loss of a loved one.  High value estates will see the greatest increase in costs, with families having to front the costs before the assets of the estate are realised. Kings Court Trust already has plans in place to absorb these costs on behalf of families using our estate administration service so that they are not left out of pocket before any legal work is actually undertaken."

Kings Court Trust works with financial advisers, Will writers and other professionals to support their clients when they are faced with a bereavement.  For more information on how you can work with us, visit www.kctrust.co.uk/ifa or email partners@kctrust.co.uk