Probate Applications – Increase in fees
The Grant of Probate is a legal document that gives executors of a Will authority to deal with property, money and possessions of someone who has died. This enables them to undertake tasks like closing down a bank account, selling or transferring property and cashing in or transferring other assets or investments.
A Grant of Probate is issued by the Probate Registry. The court fee for applying was £155 for solicitors and £215 for individuals. However, from the 26th January 2022, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that there will be a higher flat fee of £273 for all applications.
There have been numerous plans by the government in the past to increase the fees, including introducing different fees relating to the size of the estate. This fee increase has been justified on the basis that the probate service is currently operating at a loss and, as a result, is being subsidised by the taxpayer. The increase will therefore enable the service to cover its costs.
The probate service has undergone huge changes over the last couple of years. In particular, they have introduced an online application system. However, even with these changes designed to streamline the process, there are still lengthy delays with applications taking several months.
It is hoped that, with the fee increase, the system can work more efficiently and users will be able to see the improvements with Grants of Probate being issued without significant delays.
If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to administering an estate, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01992 422 128 and we would be happy to assist you.