The Ministry of Justice have published a proposal to increase the cost of applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
Currently the probate fee is a fixed cost of £215 across England and Wales, which is reduced to £155 if you use a probate professional. This is a flat fee regardless of the size of the estate. A probate application for an estate valued at less than £5,000 does not attract a fee.
Under proposals published this month, the probate fee will increase to a flat fee of £273 whether or not you use a probate professional. Estates valued at less than £5,000 will continue to not incur a fee. The consultation about the increase has opened and will run until 23 September.
The Ministry of Justice have stated that the reason behind this is so that the fee would directly correspond with the cost of the service provided. The proposed increase is significantly smaller than the proposals outlined in 2016 of a sliding scale ranging from £250 to £6,000 depending on the value of the estate. Those proposals were strongly opposed by the Law Society at the time, who stated that such a large increase would amount to a stealth tax.
You can get further information concerning the proposal from the government website on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aligning-the-fees-for-grants-of-probate-to-cost-recovery
Please also remember Garden House Solicitors if you require advice or assistance on probate or any related subjects. Please contact our office in 01992 422128.