The government is looking at increasing the probate fees bereaved family and friends have to pay to activate a will, with the rise being labelled a ‘death tax’.
The fees are currently set at a flat rate of £215 for all estates worth at least £5,000.
However, the government wants to move to a tiered system, depending on the value of the estate. This would see families managing estates worth more than £300,000 having to shell out £1,000, more than four times more than the current fee.
Here are the proposed new fees.
|Value of estate||Probate fee|
|Up to £50,000||No fee|
|£50,000 to £300,000||£300|
|£300,000 to £500,000||£1,000|
|£500,000 to £1m||£4,000|
|£1m to £1.6m||£8,000|
|£1.6m to £2m||£12,000|
|More than £2m||£20,000|
As you can see, estates worth less than £50,000 will no longer pay any fee at all under the new structure.
According to the Ministry of Justice, 57% of estates fall within this banding, so plenty of families will actually benefit from the change. Shailesh Vara, justice minister, said that 84% of estates would incur fees of no more than £300, while 94% will pay £1,000 or less.
He added: “