Probate fees increase for beneficiaries

Probate fees have increased to £273 per application from 26 January 2022. The flat fee applies to both individuals and legal professionals, removing the probate practitioner discount.

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s changed?

Where an estate is valued at more than £5,000, individuals were previously charged £215, while probate professionals were charged £155.

But from 26 January 2022, the fee for both types of applications have increased to a flat rate of £273. This represents a hike of 27 per cent for individuals and 76 per cent for solicitors.

What happened to the proposed banded fee structure?

The flat fee replaces plans to implement a banded fee structure based on the size of the estate, which was abandoned in 2019.

Why have these fees changed?

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) said the changes reflect the rising costs of processing probate applications.

“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,” said a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokesperson.

“Every penny will go towards the cost of processing probate applications – something that is currently subsidised by taxpayers.”

Probate professionals cautiously welcomed the new rules but hope the new fees will improve the quality and speed of service.

“Although we are pleased that the increase to probate fees is more rational than previous proposals, and we agree that fees charged should cover the cost of providing the service, we have concerns about the fact that this is being brought in at a time when families are suffering due to the service still being subject to significant delays,” said solicitors’ association STEP.

If you require assistance with the probate process or are concerned about the change to fees, please speak with our team.

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