Probate fee increase shelved again!
17 September 2019 by Susanne Grimwade
You may recall from my earlier Blog in February entitled “Government Announces Increase in Probate Court Fees” controversial plans by the Conservatives to dramatically increase the Probate Court Fees from the current fee of £215 for personal applications (£155 for solicitor applications) by up to almost 3,000% for the largest estates.
This piece of draft legislation set out in the Draft Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018 resulted in a huge backlash not only from the legal profession who argue this is a stealth tax but from bereaved families, many of whom would struggle to pay this fee upfront before reclaiming it from the estate once probate had been granted.
The original motion to approve this legislation was scheduled for a vote in the House of Commons since February this year but had been delayed due to Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament (a term you will be more than familiar with by now!) means that unless a provision is made no business of a previous parliamentary session may be carried over into the next session.
Therefore, the motion to approve the increase in Probate Court Fees would have to be re-tabled again in the next parliamentary session in five weeks’ time. Given the complexities surrounding Brexit and the current political climate one can only hope there will not be enough time to consider this application in the short to medium term at least…