From April this year, a stepped fee structure is being introduced for Grant of Probate applications, increasing the costs to executors of the largest estates from £155 to £6,000.
Hannah Montague, a specialist wills and probate solicitor at Taylor&Emmet, said: “The problem is, executors need to pay the court fee, before money can be reclaimed from an estate. This will be a huge burden under the new system if you have a wealthy relative, but little in the way of funds yourself. Borrowing money may be the only option available to some.”
Currently, a Grant of Probate is required to administer an estate of more than £5,000, costing executors £215, if they are handling it themselves, or £155 if they instruct a solicitor. From April, charges will only apply to estates of more than £50,000, but the new fee structure will mean dealing with a large inheritance, results in an equally large bill.