Probate Fee Increase – January 2022
We previously reported on the proposed Probate fee increases in 2017 and then again in 2018. Thankfully, those extortionate proposed Probate fee increases, based on the value of the estate, attracted huge criticism. This criticism, in turn, forced the Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland, to confirm that the Government no longer intended to proceed with their proposals.
Now, nearly five years on from the initial planned increases, the Government have returned with a new proposal, which will come into effect on 26th January 2022.
Current Probate Fees
At present, the current fee to submit Probate applications is £155 if made by a professional probate practitioner (i.e. a Solicitor) and £215 if made by an individual in a personal capacity.
New Probate Fee of £273 to come into effect on 26th January 2022
The aim of the fee increase is to cover costs of the service and to align the fees for professional and non‑professional applicants for Probate applications into a single fee of £273. This will see an increase of £118 for professional applications and £58 for non-professional applications.
The fee will be a set amount not dependant on the value of the estate.
Whilst the above fees are a huge improvement in comparison to the previous proposals, the Probate service has had continued delays during the pandemic which raises the question as to whether this is the appropriate time to see an increase in fees, especially as most applications are submitted online.
The Law Society have said “Plans to hike fees for Probate applications are unwelcome particularly when grieving relatives are suffering because the service is still subject to significant delays.” With the president of the Law Society adding “Any increase in fees must be reflected in the service provided. The online service was specifically designed to streamline the process and the UK government must get the system working efficiently before upping costs to both professional and non-professional users alike.”
From our point of view, the relatively small Probate fee increase is welcomed, if this is reflected in an improved service provided by the Probate Registry.