Probate fee increase scrapped
This week (12 October 2019) the Government announced that the proposed increase to the probate application fees has been scrapped; good news which has been welcomed by our Probate Team.
In 2017, the government published proposals to change the structuring of the application fee to extract a Grant of Probate. Instead of being a flat fee as it is now, it was intended that the fee would be based on the value of the estate. Originally, this would have been, at most, £20,000 but was reduced to £6,000 last year and there were calls from the media, professions and the public for this idea to be abolished with the proposals being labelled a ‘stealth tax’ by some – not to mention the potential practical problems for executors this could have caused.
However, it was announced at the weekend that the proposed fee increase has been scrapped although not without a caveat – the Ministry of Justice has said that the fees will be looked at again as part of a “wider review to make sure all fees are fair and proportionate”.
At present, the fee for applying for a Grant of Probate is £215 or £155 if the application is made through a solicitor. However, given the Ministry of Justice’s comments, it is possible there will be another proposed review in the future. Our specialist Probate Team will continue to monitor developments and will publish updates as the debate continues.