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A Grant of Probate, or Grant of Letters of Administration where a deceased has left no Will, is the official documentation issued by the Probate Registry, authorising the Executors or Administrators, where there was no Will, to act in the administration of the deceased estate.
A fee is payable to the District Probate Registry for the Grant to be issued and this fee is currently £215.00 (or £155.00 if the Probate Registry do not need to prepare the documentation) for all estates valued over £5,000.00.
The Government has recently undertaken a consultation on increasing the fees payable, as it is reported that the Probate Courts cost approximately £1.7 Billion a year to run. Statistics conclude that only £700 Million is raised through Probate Court fees, thus leaving a Billion pound deficit.
The Government, therefore, have concluded, following the consultation, that Probate fees should rise and there will no longer be one set fee payable to obtain a Grant. Instead the cost of obtaining a Grant will now be determined on the value of the deceased’s estate.
Where an estate is valued below £50,000.00, no fee will be payable. However, for all other estates the cost payable to obtain a Grant will dramatically rise:
The increase in costs will impact on the majority of estates where Probate is required. Only those estates with a value between £5,000.00 and £50,000.00 will benefit from the proposed changes, and it is often the estates valued at less than £50,000.00 which rarely require a Grant to be obtained in any event.
The above changes are subject to Parliamentary approval, but it is envisaged that the cost increases will take effect from May 2017.
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