The administration fees for dealing with probate cases could go up by a staggering 9,000 per cent later this month.
In May, estates valued at over £2 million will be charged £20,000 by the Probate Registry. This is the government service which deals with the paperwork to determine who will control a person’s finances and property following their death. The new price is an enormous increase from just £155 for someone who has a solicitor or £215 for those applying by themselves.
This steep rise will come as part of a new sliding scale of Probate Registry fees. Under this new system, estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000 will incur a £300 charge, those between £300,000 and £500,000 will cost £1,000 and for the ones worth between £500,000 and £1 million the fee will be £4,000.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice claimed these fees were “necessary to maintain an accessible, world-leading justice system” and would put “the needs of victims and vulnerable people first”.
The government has admitted that the Probate Registry manages to cover its cost under the current system. Therefore the extra money generated by these new fees, around £250 million per year, is expected to subsidise the Courts and Tribunals Service, The Telegraph reports.
However this new rule is still subject to Parliamentary approval.
In January the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) claimed that the number of people who are expecting to leave more than £150,000 to loved ones after they die has almost doubled. IFS Senior Research Economist explained that older people have much more wealth than previous generations did “primarily as the result of higher homeownership rates and rising house prices”.
Photo by D Coetzee via Flickr under the Public Domain.