Despite overwhelming opposition from the legal profession, including bodies such as Solicitors for the Elderly and STEP, the Government is proceeding with plans to increase the fee payable when making probate applications. The change, which is due to be introduced from May 2017, will see an increase from a flat fee of £155 (or £215 if applied for without a solicitor ) to a fee of up to £20,000, depending upon the value of the estate. Unlike inheritance tax, there will not be any exemptions available and so the fees will apply irrespective of who inherits the estate.
The proposed changes together with the introduction of the property nil rate band in April bring further complexity to estate planning and the probate process. If you would like any further advice about Wills, inheritance tax or the probate process and how the proposed changes this will affect you, please contact our specialist Wills and Probate Department on 029 2039 1058 for more information.