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May Is Bringing A Probate Price Increase

The month of May brings many things. Beautiful blossoms on the trees, green shoots, gambolling lambs… But this year it is bringing something else with it too – it’s bringing a rise in probate fees and for some, including the farmers who care for those lambs, that could mean extra costs of around £20,000.

At the moment there is a flat fee that applies to all estates valued at over £5,000. Anything valued at less than that has no probate costs to pay. Anything over must pay something between £150 and £250, depending on how much the estate is worth.

But this is all set to change.

Probate fees increase

Probate increase in fees

For some, this is good news. Any estate in the UK that is valued at less than £50,000 will have nothing to pay. However, any estate valued at over £50,000 will have to pay much more than before in order, it is supposed, to make up for the shortfall. The rates will be significantly higher, with estates worth over £2 million potentially having to pay a fee of £20,000. And this could be a big problem. Whilst some estates will indeed be worth over £2 million, and many farms are certainly well over this threshold, that doesn’t mean that the estate is actually cash rich. Asset rich yes, but there is no correlation between that and having the cash at hand to pay probate fees of tens of thousands of pounds.

It could mean that a forced sale of the assets is entered into, or that loans are taken out to pay the probate fees required.

The reason behind the increases is said to be to prop up under-funded court services. But it is such a big change that it will, it would seem, only serve to cause people grief and stress at an already difficult time.


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