Probate fee hike scrapped

The current probate fees will remain unchanged after almost a year of uncertainty.

The proposed increases from April 2019 would have seen rise from the current fixed fee of £215 (or £155 with a solicitor) – to a sliding scale of up to £6,000 depending on the size of the estate.

The proposed increase led to a spike in probate applications in March.  This coincided with the rollout of new government computer system, which malfunctioned and led to significant delays, which are still ongoing as the backlog is cleared.

President of the Law Society Simon Davis said: “A hike in probate fees would have been a tax on grief.  We campaigned vigorously against the increase and are relieved the government has listened to reason”.

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) also strongly opposed the proposed fees, raising concerns on the grounds of fairness, practicality and legality and stated “This follows many months of work by STEP and many others to highlight the unfairness of the proposed increase, which amounted to a stealth tax on the bereaved.  This at last brings an end to the uncertainty and worry that these proposals have caused to grieving families”.

STEP is the international professional body for advisors who specialise in inheritance and succession planning.

If you require any further assistance, please contact Nicola McIntyre, Partner or Hilary Askew, Associate, who are both Affiliate members of STEP.