Government announces Probate fees hike

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Planning your estate and having a last will and testament is important to ensuring your final wishes are carried out and your heirs receive everything you intend to pass on to them. Whether you are the testator or executor, there are many duties you will need to perform to make sure an estate passes as quickly as possible through probate court, including calculating the costs associated. First and foremost, New York probate courts handling estates have a variable schedule of filing fees which depend on the size of the estate. Section 2402(7) of New York’s Surrogate’s Courts Procedure Act (SCPA) are as follows:

The planned changes were announced last November and would have seen an alteration to the current fees incurred for probate, which is the process of administering an estate following a person’s death. Under the current regime there is a flat fee of £215, or for those applying through a solicitor, £155.

Probate fees calculated on a sliding scale

The proposals planned to scrap the static fees in favour of a sliding scale that depended on the value of the deceased’s estate. Whilst this would have been good news for estates valued at £50,000 or less (as there would have been no fee at all), those estates above the £50,000 threshold would have faced significantly higher fees. For example, an estate valued between £50,000 and £300,000 would have been charged £250, whilst those in the £500,000 to £1 million bracket would have faced fees of £2,500. Those estates with assets in excess of £2 million would attract a fee of £6,000 under the new regime, an increase of £5,845 when compared to the probate fee currently payable.

Good news for grieving families

A professional association advising families on trusts and inheritance was delighted at the government’s decision having called the proposals “a stealth tax on the bereaved”. Following the news commented that the government has decided to scrap the proposed increase in probate fees. This at last brings an end to the uncertainty and worry that these proposals have caused to grieving families.

Trethowans are award winning solicitors dedicated to helping families through the challenges that a bereavement can bring. To arrange a consultation with one of our specialist probate solicitors, please feel free to get in touch. Last November, the Government announced plans to alter the charging structure for probate fees which are paid when administering someone’s estate after they die. The proposal was that the current flat fee, now £215 (or £155 if applying through a solicitor) would be replaced with a sliding scale, meaning that some of our clients dealing with higher value estates would have been charged almost £6,000 extra!

The changes were due to come into force in April 2019 and have been linked to the surge in applications for grants of probate which has caused significant delays to the processing times. For now, probate fees will be reviewed as part of the annual assessment of charges in the family and civil courts.

 New York Probate Attorney

When you pass a way, in the midst of grieving your loved ones will also have to think about unsettled issues related to your estate. The legal process during your estate will be settled and distributed is known as probate. Legally, your estate will have to be disposed of in a certain way. Your assets will have to be accounted for and valuated, and the debts of your estate will have to be paid. Finally, you assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries or heirs. Depending on a number of factors, probate can be quite lengthy and complicated. However, there are actions you can take through careful estate planning to help ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and that probate is as quick and painless as possible. To help make sure that your estate is probated in the most efficient manner during such an emotionally challenging time, it is a good idea to contact a New York probate lawyer who will be able educate you on the probate process and help you design an estate plan that fulfills your wishes.


Probate is the legal process through which the executor of your estate winds up your affairs and distributes the assets of your estate according to the provisions of your will. If you do not leave a will, then your assets will be distributed through a process called estate administration. If you left a will and named an executor, your executor will be the person who will initiate the probate process by petitioning the New York Surrogate’s Court in the country in which you lived at the time of your death.

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Do you have more questions about Probate? Our attorneys are ready to give you all the help and answers you need. Call us today.


What are the fees for executors in New York?

Executor fees are based on the value of the estate. These fees can be between 2 and 5% of the total amount of estate money the executor receives and pays out.

What are the cost of Probate will for Attorney?

The fees associated with a probate attorney depend on size of the estate, work put in by the executor, and the complexity of the case.

Will probate be conducted even when a will exists?

Yes. Whether or not a person has a last will and testament in place at the time of death, any assets that do not pass directly to beneficiaries must go through the probate process. In fact, a will necessitates probate since the court has to verify the will’s validity.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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