Probate fees increase in England and Wales by up to 76%

Probate fees increase in England and Wales by up to 76%

From the 26th of January 2022, the Ministry of Justice has introduced a flat rate fee of £273 for probate applications. Previously, this was set at £155 if applied for by solicitors and £215 for those who applied directly.

This comes after extensive waiting times in processing applications during the pandemic. On average it took people 12 to 14 weeks to receive their grant in 2020 which of course adds huge inconvenience to those already dealing with the death of a loved one.

The government are looking to raise £20 million each year as the system currently operates at a loss. The changes in fees are to reflect work needed towards the service as they plan to implement a new centralised online system replacing paper applications. Their hope is that this will reduce any administrative errors and poor communication from the probate service that contributed to the backlog.

For those who are executors of estates valued at £5,000 or less, they will remain exempt from any fees on applying.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Justice has stated "These fees will fully fund our investment in a first-class digital probate service to ensure shorter waiting times, fewer user and administrative errors, and a better experience for families."

However, some are concerned that this may in fact have the opposite effect. As there are now the same fees whether or not you use a professional to help you with your application, the Law Society anticipates that this will lead to more people doing the applications without the help of a solicitor. The consequence of this is that this will have a higher chance of mistakes and errors from those that do not have expertise in dealing with this area.

At Clapham & Collinge, we have a team of specialist private client lawyers who can help you through every stage of probate applications. Click here for more information on our Wills, Trusts and Probate services.

To find out more or discuss your individual circumstances in further detail, contact us on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an Enquiry' form on our website. Face-to-face meetings are available by appointment at our Norwich, North Walsham, and Sheringham offices.

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*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.