The Spring Budget Small Print – Increasing Probate Fees

In March 16, 2017
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You may have recently seen in the news that the Government is proposing that probate fees are due to increase for estates worth over £50,000. This has prompted fierce criticism from Tory MPs who called it a ‘£300 million stealth death tax’.

A sliding scale of fees is being introduced starting at £300 for estates worth between £50,000-£300,000 and ending at £20,000 for those above £2 million.

Even though probate is little more than a rubber stamp on a document written by a clerk, small print in the Budget last week showed it has been reclassified on our national balance sheet as a ‘tax’ rather than a ‘fee’.

The Government is however keen to stress that not all properties need to go through probate. 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. This is likely to make little difference with the vast majority of estates valued above £50,000.

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

Jasmine has been a qualified Financial Planner since 2008. She has also been a member of the Society of Will Writers since 2012. She is passionate about helping Clients build their wealth and achieve the financial lifestyle they desire. Her areas of expertise are that of Savings, Investments, Pensions and Retirement Planning.

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