Wills and Probate Update – Probate fees increase abandoned

Wills and Probate Update – Probate fees increase abandoned

Elderly Couple in Autumn

The Government has abandoned the controversial proposed increase in probate fees which had originally been scheduled to take effect in April 2019, writes Jonathan Edwards, Senior Chartered Legal Executive in our Private Client Department.

The proposed fee increase – labelled a ‘stealth tax’ by many – would have been an extra burden to bereaved families and possibly led to badly judged and inappropriate measures to avoid paying the fees.  Saga highlighted claims that potentially one in five families who required a Grant of Representation would need to find at least £2,500 just to make the application.

The new Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, has cancelled the plans at this time.  However, the Probate Registry fees will now be reviewed as part of an overall review of court fees.

While this is good news, Wills and Probate lawyers will remain vigilant as to what the next Government may attempt to implement.

The proposed increase in fees led to an avalanche of applications at Probate Registries before April 2019 which contributed (together with technological problems and staffing issues) to massive delays at Probate Registries which continue to add to the distress of bereaved families at the time of writing.

How can we help?

If specific advice on Wills, estate planning or estate administration is required then please contact Jonathan Edwards on 01743 237698, or our office in Shrewsbury 01743 248545, Harlescott 01743 467641 or Whitchurch 01948 663361.