The draft Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order (2018) has been put before parliament and, if approved, will give effect to a new banded fee structure for applications for grant of representation to the Probate Registry. This will replace the current flat fees paid and the new amount payable will be linked to the assessed value of a deceased’s estate, up to a maximum of £6,000 for estates exceeding £2million. The threshold below which no application fee is payable will also rise from £5,000 to £50,000 thereby catching more Estates and the removal of “Help with Fees” remissions is also intended.

The level of fees are significantly lower than those originally proposed in 2017 when the government dropped their proposals for a banded fee structure in advance of the general election. Nevertheless, the proposed introduction of the revised banded fee structure and increase in threshold remains controversial. Many consider this new legislation to be a ‘stealth tax’ and concern has been expressed that this additional financial burden on estates will impact on legacy income for the charity sector.

There is no date given yet for the implementation of these fee increases but they are, once again, on the horizon.

We will be watching progress of this legislation in parliament and advising our clients about the impact on them. If you have any queries or concerns on this or any other issue regarding your Will or Estate, please contact us and a member of our private client team will be happy to assist you.

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