A delay to the increase in Probate Fees

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By Lauren Smart

Private Client Executive (GCILex)

In April this year a significant increase in Probate Fees was due to take effect, providing it was approved by the Houses of Commons.  This would have been carried out under the Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018 and had been scheduled for a vote in House of Commons since February.   The proposal was that the fees which are currently £155 for solicitors or £215 for individuals were to be changed to a new tiered structure with the largest estates, those over £2 million pounds, paying £6,000 to obtain a grant of representation.  The draft order also proposed an increased to the threshold for which no application fee is necessary from £5,000 to £50,000.


It has recently been reported by the Law Society that due to the prorogation of the 2017-19 Parliamentary session (that is the suspension of parliament) the vote has now lapsed.   Therefore, if the Government want to proceed with the fee increase, Ministers will need to reintroduce a vote in the next parliamentary session.  Therefore, we can assume the increase is not imminent!


This will hopefully reduce the strain on the Probate Registry caused in part by the threat of the fee increase.  Whereas a Grant of Representation could previously be obtained, from submission of the application to completion, in around 10 working days the latest timescales are between 6-8 weeks.   A significant increase!


The Law Society have been campaigning against the fee increase and has said ““Should the order be reintroduced, we will continue to campaign against its introduction. This is a tax on grief.