Local Solicitors Wace Morgan have issued a press release urging families to act quickly to settle the financial affairs of a deceased relative to avoid planned hikes in administration costs. The government have announced new probate fees & these will probably come into force in May 2017.
At present there is no fee for applying for a grant of representation giving you the legal right to administer a deceased person’s estate, if the estate is worth less than £5000. If you apply for the grant, a court fee of £215 applies, if you do this via a solicitor then the fee is £155 for estates over £5000. It is all change in May as the applicable court fees will be in bands & will be calculated on the value of the deceased’s estate. The proposed new fees mean that an estate worth between £50,000 and £300,000 would pay £300, an estate worth between £300,000 and £500,000 would pay £1,000 and an estate worth between £500,000 and £1,000,000 would pay £4,000. The fees above that rise to a maximum of £20,000 for an estate worth more than £2,000,000.
The planned increases will benefit some families but there will be few estates valued under £50,000 which will no longer have to pay a fee but there are problems looming for others. Very often money is tied up in assets and these fees are payable in addition to any inheritance tax due and must be paid before the grant of representation is issued.
Emma Jacobs from Wace Morgan said recently “ Bereaved families should act quickly and look to apply for the grant of representation as soon as possible to avoid paying the increased fees.”
SDN says ” Bereavement is a difficult time for everyone. A time when there is so much that needs to be done under emotional & difficult circumstances. This could impact on people especially when funds are tied up in assets but the fees have to be paid up first. Please seek advice from a reputable organisation, if you should be unfortunate enough to be in this situation”