Plans to Increase Probate Fees Scrapped

Update for blog post: Probate Fees for Hit 20k for Larger Estates

Following the announcement of the election in June, the government has dropped its proposals to increase probate fees. This increases the possibility of the proposals being dropped altogether.

The Ministry of Justice’s scheme was intended to raise £300m to fund the modernisation of the courts and tribunal service. The proposed increase would have seen probate fees increase up to £20,000 for larger estates from the current flat rate of £155.

Today’s (21 April) announcement has confirmed that the necessary statutory instrument required to allow a parliamentary act to be made or altered without a vote by MPs would not be completed before the election on 8th June. It is now up to the new government to decide whether to push this legislation through.

What were the proposals?

Obtaining a grant of probate requires an individual, usually the executor of the will or a person acting on their behalf, to be given the authority to organise the property, money and possessions of the deceased.

A fee must be paid to the Probate Registry to organise the application for the grant. This is currently charged at a flat rate of £155 if processed by a solicitor and £215 by an individual.

The proposed changes would have introduced a sliding scale dependent on the value of the estate. This would have seen probate applications for estates under £50,000 costing nothing to £20,000 for estates worth more than £2m.