After months of speculation and many a sleepless night for every probate solicitor in the country, the Government has announced that they will be scrapping the proposed increase to Probate Registry application fees.
In a complete U-turn, the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, confirmed on Monday that they would not be pursuing the planned fee hike; the proposal had initially been introduced by Theresa May.
In stark comparison to the current standard fee of £155 payable for applications made by a solicitor (or £215 for applications made in person), the new sliding scale fees would have seen some estates charged up to £6,000 to obtain a Grant of Representation (being either a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration, primarily depending on whether the deceased had left a Will)
Branding the proposals as “inherently unfair”, the President of the Law Society, Simon Davis, has welcomed the news this week. He emphasised that everyone should have the right to justice and proper legal procedure, no matter what their financial circumstances might be, let alone what those of a deceased family member or friend might have been.
Whilst this is undoubtedly welcome news, it is somewhat tarnished by the exuberant delays that faced applicants earlier in the year, when it was first thought that the fee increase would come into effect. The reported, official, delay for Grants to be processed was 13 weeks, however many professionals found the actual delays were far in excess of this.
To find out how this might affect you and any applications that you might be in the process of making, please contact us to discuss how we can assist you further. Contact Fisher Jones Greenwood by calling 01206 700113 or email [email protected].
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