Inheritance Tax Shake up, set to Help Executors

Late last year the Ministry of Justice announced that, legislation to introduce tiered Probate Fees had been presented before Parliament.

These fee changes were expected to come in last year, but they were delayed, due to concerns that they were simply a stealth tax. Further to this, it was agreed these increase in fees were considered and sanctioned by statutory instrument, and therefore no vote was taken in the Houses of Parliament, although the fee increases were heavily criticised by the House of Lords. Despite this, it was intended that they would be increased from the middle of March.

However, due to the legislative work with regard to Brexit, the appropriate statutory instrument has been further delayed.

The current fee for obtaining a Grant of Probate is £215 for individuals.

The new fees will be based on the value of the estate as follows:

Estates worth less then £50,000 will typically not require a Grant of Probate. The estate threshold will arise from £5,000 to £50,000 when the legislation is introduced.

From £50,000 up to £300,000 will incur a fee of £250.

From £300,000 up to £500,000 the fee will increase to £750.

From £500,000 up to 1 million the fee will increase to £2,500.

From 1 Million up to 1.6 Million the fee will increase to £4,000.

From 1.6 Million up to 2 Million the fee will increase to £5,000.

Over 2 Million the fee will increase to £6,000.

Owing to the timing of these increase in fees, a substantial number of applications were made to District Probate Registries throughout the country, which has resulted in a back log of work at the District Probate Registries, and normal applications for Grants of Probate registration, are taking up to eight to ten weeks. However, this is only a suspension of the time by which these fee increases will come into play.

The Ministry of Justice has not given an indication as to the date when the fee increases will now be introduced.