Progressive Capital Taxation.

27th February 2017

Probate: Fees hike to go ahead.

Despite an overwhelmingly negative response to its proposals, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it is pressing ahead with the introduction of a new scale of fees to be imposed on the executors of deceased estate. Up to now, when executors apply for probate, a flat rate fee of £215 has been payable to the Probate office unless the estate is valued at less than £5,000. But with effect from a date to be confirmed a sliding scale will apply and the amount payable will be linked to the value of the estate as follows:

Value of estate                                                                                                 Proposed fee

Up to £50,000                                                                                                                     £0

£50,001 to £300,000                                                                                                  £300

£300,001 to £500,000                                                                                            £1,000

£500,001 to £1m                                                                                                        £4,000

£1m to £1.6m                                                                                                                £8,000

£1.6m to £2m                                                                                                              £12,000

Over £2m                                                                                                                   £20,000

The fee must be paid before probate will be granted along with the inheritance tax due on the estate. This will add to the often difficult cash flow position executors can find themselves in when an estate is asset rich but cash poor. Furthermore the probate fee is not deductible from the estate for the purpose of calculating inheritance tax so valuable estates will in effect be taxed twice as in many cases the fee will significantly outweigh the Probate office’s costs of administration.

Blog entry by: Philip Peters.

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