A Guide to Probate and Probate Fees

07th March 2017
What is Probate?
Probate is often misunderstood; quite simply it is the process of dealing with someone’s affairs when they pass away.  Sometimes formal Court authority is needed by way of a Grant of Probate where there are complex or high value assets to be dealt with under a person’s Will, such as a property.


What are the current fees for a Grant of Probate?
Currently there is no fee if the estate is less than £5000, above that there is a fixed fee of £215 for individuals applying or £155 if you use a solicitor, although there would also be legal fees to pay to the professional making the application on your behalf.


What are the new fees?
The government consultation on new fees has now concluded and it is suggested that the new fees regime will come into effect in May 2017.  Under the new scheme more lower value estates will no longer have to pay any fee but higher value estates will have to pay larger fees up to £20,000 for estates over £2M.  The full fee structure is set out below:
Value of Estate (before inheritance tax) 
New Fee
Up to £50,000 £0
Exceeds £50,000 but not £300,000 £300
Exceeds £300,000 but not £500,000 £1,000
Exceeds £500,000 but not £1M £4,000
Exceeds £1M but not £1.6M £8,000
Exceeds £1.6M but not £2M £12,000
Exceeds £2M £20,000


Can the Executor pay a reduced fee?
The proposals do make some provisions for those of very limited means to be able to pay a reduced fee or no fee at all but in the majority of cases the Executors will need to pay the fee before the Grant of Probate can be issued.


Can I do anything to reduce the fee payable on my estate?
It is always advisable to review you Will and affairs regularly to ensure that the best possible planning is in place to ensure that no unnecessary tax or fees are paid upon death.  One possible method of future planning involves the use of Trusts to essentially remove assets from your estate prior to your death.  However, there are complex tax and other issues surrounding the use of Trusts and you should always seek independent legal advice in relation to your own circumstances before doing anything.


I have heard that solicitors are expensive and other companies are cheaper?
This is a common misunderstanding.  The truth is that most solicitors firms are aware of the fees charged by others and offer competitive pricing as a result.  Sometimes, though, solicitors’ fees may be slightly higher than other companies or organisations.  The usual reason for this is that solicitors have additional overheads including regulation fees and insurance premiums.  Other providers of probate services may be unregulated, without insurance and not subject to the strict ethical and professional procedures that solicitors must adhere to.  In short if such a company makes a mistake or ceases trading the individual may not have any recourse. 


Why BHP Law?
At BHP Law we can offer a range of fixed fee or tailored quotations depending on the individual circumstances.  Our Probate practice is regulated and we hold both the Lexcel quality mark and the Wills and Inheritance Quality (WIQS) mark from the Law Society.  We have solicitors who are very experienced in dealing with Probate matters and who are members of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP), again a quality assured additional specialist qualification for professionals who deal with trusts and estate matters.


Call one of our team today on 0800 590 019 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively if you would like someone from the team to contact you, you can either fill in the online enquiry form or email your details to

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