When a person dies in the UK it is necessary for the estate to be administered with or without a last Will and testament. The estate includes all the person’s person property, money and possessions.
If a legal Will has been prepared the Executors nominated under the Will would need to obtain a grant of probate, or the next of kin would need to obtain a letter of administration if no Will has been prepared.
When submitting the paperwork to the Probate registry there are government fees which need to be paid and these are being changed in April of this year. At present there is a fixed fee of £215 for probate (or £155 if the application is made through a solicitor). These changes affect only England & Wales, and the exact date for implementation has not as yet been announced.
Importantly the new charges relate to the date the application for probate is made and not the date when the person died. So it may be worth applicants submitting their paperwork prior to the April change in fixed fee probate charges in Bristol.
There is good news for estates below £50,000 where no fee will be charged but for estates with substantial value, the increase is quite considerable. The breakdown is as follows:
Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35.
Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535.
Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285.
Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785.
Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785.
Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785.
A grant of probate is necessary before an estate can be distributed. This is true if will writing has taken place or not. With the new fixed fee probate structure it may be sensible for many estates in Bristol to delay applying until April of this year. Conversely a speedy submission may significantly reduce the cost to an estate.
This concludes an outline of the new proposed probate fees. If you would like more information on this, please contact Rose & Trust of Bristol on 0117 369 1969.