Increase in probate fees abandoned
The government has abandoned its planned increase in probate fees.
The increase in fees was originally expected to take effect from 1 April 2019. However, in March 2019 HMRC postponed the introduction of the increase, attributing the delay to pressure on Parliamentary time.
As part of the government's plans, estates that are valued between £50,000 and £300,000 would have been subject to a probate fee of £250. Fees were to rise thereafter to reach £6,000 for estates with a value above £2 million.
Currently, for estates valued at over £5,000, a grant application made by a solicitor is subject to a flat fee of £155. A grant application made by an individual is subject to a fee of £215.
The increase was included in a statutory instrument (SI) however the SI fell away on the prorogation of Parliament in September, but was reinstated when the prorogation was declared illegal.
The government has now announced that the planned increase will not take place. Instead there will be a review of court costs and how they can be covered by the actual service required. Probate fees apply in in England and Wales.