The controversial probate fees were first mentioned in November 2018. The fees were challenged because the proposed fees appeared to be significantly higher than the cost of the service. It also resulted in an increase in applications, earlier this year, due to the proposed fee rise. This has resulted in a serious backlog of applications at the Probate Registries.
The fees were strongly challenged by professionals, and it is certainly good news that the probate fee increase has been dropped.
Controversial England and Wales probate fee increase proposal is finally dropped
Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland has announced that the enormous increase in probate fees proposed under former Prime Minister Theresa May has been scrapped, according to the Daily Mail.
The increase would have charged probate applicants in England and Wales up to GBP6,000 depending on the value of the estate, instead of the current flat fee of GBP155 (via a solicitor, GBP215 without) .
However, in a statement given to the Daily Mail, Buckland announced he had decided the policy was not 'fair and proportionate'. The related statutory instrument, which has for months been awaiting parliamentary approval, will accordingly be withdrawn.
Instead, the next annual review of court fees will consider making 'small adjustments' to cover the costs of probate applications.