The proposal to increase Probate fees for higher value estates, moving away from the present flat fee system, is presently in consultation stage with the Ministry of Justice.
Whilst many will pay no fee as a result of these proposed changes, hikes of between £300 and £4,000 for estates valued at up to £1 million are very high in my view, and do not justify the work involved in any estate.
The Court has no added risk to justify a value-based fee system, unlike the Land Registry which can justifiably argue otherwise. It will be interesting to see how far this progresses.
Currently, there is no fee payable for an estate valued up to GBP5,000 and this exemption will be increased for estates up to the value of GBP50,000. The government estimates that this will exclude an additional 30,000 estates from paying the application fee increasing the proportion of estates paying no fee to 57 per cent.