News: Probate Explained

Posted on 10th July 2019

Probate fee changes – what they will mean for you and when!


In the past year, there have been many mentions on probate fees increasing and how these will affect the bereaved. But with the rise due to have taken place back in April, and still not have been passed by Parliament, when can you expect to see the changes implemented?


Due to Brexit taking up a lot of Parliament’s time, the fees amendments having been put on hold until later in the year, or possibly later, depending on when Parliament can dedicate time to pass the law.


Gatwick-based accountants, Richard Place Dobson, are here to share their advice.


When can we expect the law to be changed?


In order for the fees to be changed, they need to be approved by Parliament. This means that the legislation will be read out in the House of Commons and if any MPs object to the amends, it may lead to the whole House voting on the legislation.


Although it’s very rare for this type of legislation, the probate fee changes could be voted down and would therefore not become law. But if it were to be approved, an order would be made and the new fees would come into force 21 days later.


There is currently no set time for this legislation to be read due to the enormity of Brexit.


 What can we expect if the law is passed?


Currently, there is no fee for an estate that is worth under £5,000, and a fee of £215 if the estate is worth over £5,000. Under the proposed changes, the flat rate fee would be replaced with a fee system based on the value of the estate.


To get probate, the person dealing with the estate must have submitted an Inheritance Tax account to HMRC. But the account does not need to have been fully processed to apply for probate, so with the fee changes looming, it could be worth applying sooner than later to benefit from the current fees, if the estate is large, as the fees that were in place at the time of application, not death, will be applied.


If the new legislation is passed, the following fees, before Inheritance Tax, will apply in England and Wales based on the size of the estate left behind (e.g. property, land, businesses owned, cash, stocks and shares, valuables, cars, debts):


  • Up to 50,000 = £0
  • £50,001 – £300,000 = £250
  • £300,001 – £500,000 = £750
  • £500,001 – £1,000,000 = £2,500
  • £1,000,001 – £1,600,000 = £4,000
  • £1,600,001 – £2,000,000 = £5,000
  • £2,000,000 and over = £6,000


Many people have viewed the proposed rises as a ‘stealth tax’, however, the fees are not taxes and it’s been predicted that approximately 25,000 estates will benefit from the above fees by not having to pay a fee. The Government has also predicted that 80% of estates will pay less than £750, with 60% paying a similar fee to the current scheme.


How can I find out more?


Probate is the process of obtaining the legal right to distribute property, money, and possessions of a deceased person’s estate. The process can be complicated and take a lot of time, with the average estate taking up to nine months to complete.


For more information on the process and how we can assist with the process, visit our probate page, and get in contact with us on 01293 521191.



Back to News ›


"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "

Angela Gill, Managing Director
(Bio Productions Ltd)

"As MP for Mid Sussex I believe passionately in the importance of a vibrant local business community in order to create and sustain fantastic opportunities that enable people to meet their responsibilities, prosper and fulfil their potential. I am committed to collaborating with BHBPA and others to be an effective collective voice for Burgess Hill."

Mims Davies MP, Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex

"The BHBPA is a fantastic hub for our business community to get together and catch up, discuss important local issues and connect new and interesting enterprises."

Oliver Lashley , Director
(Pure Storm Digital Services )

"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"

Bruce Millington, Manager
(Sutton Winson Ltd)