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5 April 2019 | Comment | Article by Roman Kubiak TEP

Government rejects request for charity exemption from probate fees

Probate practitioners are currently waiting for the planned probate fees increase to take effect. These plans will see probate fees increase from £155 (for solicitors) or £215 (for individuals) to between £250 and £6,000, depending on the size of the estate.

I have previously commented on the potential impact this will have on the charitable sector. Charities rely heavily on legacy income, and this will be eaten into by the new probate fees. Cancer Research UK has estimated that the changes will result in a loss in legacy income, to their charity alone, of £600,000 a year. Estimates of the overall loss to the charitable sector are as high as £10million per year.

The Institute of Fundraising, Institute of Legacy Management, Remember a Charity and National Council for Voluntary Organisations wrote to Lucy Frazer MP to set out the concerns of the charitable sector, requesting that consideration be given to a charities exemption from the increased fees. This would be consistent with the existing charities exemption from inheritance tax.

Lucy Frazer has responded stating that the government has assessed that there will not be a substantial impact on any individual beneficiary, and that whilst the government supports charitable giving, it will not be practical for the Probate Service to apply different sets of fees for those estates that include a charitable donation.

For further information on the changes to probate fees and how these may affect you, please contact us using the enquiry form at the bottom of the page.

Author bio

Roman Kubiak TEP


Roman Kubiak is a Partner and Head of the market leading Private Wealth Disputes team.

He advises across the whole spectrum of private wealth disputes, with a particular focus on high value, complex and cross-border disputes including: trust disputes, breach of trust claims and applications to remove trustees; will disputes, particularly those with an international element; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; and claims for equitable relief under proprietary estoppel, constructive trusts and resulting trusts.

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