Under new rules announced back in November by the Government, probate fees will rise from the current flat £215 charge to up to £6,000 for the largest estates. The changes were expected to come into effect on 1 April but ongoing Brexit chaos has seen the date pushed back by at least three weeks, with Parliamentary scheduling taken up by debating Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The increase to probate fees must be approved by Parliament before changes can be implemented. If the legislation is approved, the new fees will come into force 21 days later. It is still possible that the increases could be voted down and fail to become law, although lawmakers suggest this is extremely unlikely. The new system – a hike of up to 2,700% – will see the probate fees rise according to the value of the estate. More than 280,000 families a year will be stung by the extra costs, with 56,000 forking out between £2,500 and £6,000.