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Probate fees set to increase yet again

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In recent proposals set out by the government, probate fees of up to £20,000 could be payable on the estates of deceased individuals.

Probate fees are currently fixed at £155 (for applications made by legal professionals) or £215 for personal applications.

Under the new proposals, probate fees would be linked to the value of the deceased’s estate, as follows:

The value of the estate                   Planned fee
Less than £50,000                            0
£50,000 to £300,000                        £300
£300,000 to £500,000                      £1000
£500,000 to £1,000,000                   £4000
£1,000,000 to £1,600,000                £8000
£1,600,000 to £2,000,000                £12,000
Above £2,000,000                            £20,000

The figures stated above would be in addition to inheritance tax which is currently payable at 40% in relation to net estates above £325,000, subject to fee exemptions such as the charitable exemption and spousal exemption.

Therefore, the proposals are only advantageous to estates with a value of less than £50,000 and substantial estates will be significantly worse off than they are under the current fixed probate fees.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice defended the plans by stating that “changes are also necessary in making a significant contribution to releasing the deficit and enable investment that will transform the Courts and Tribunals Service.” The proposals will be in consultation until April 2016.

If you have any questions please contact me Stephanie Parish on 0113 336 3355 or via email at stephanie.parish@clarionsolicitors.com

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