It was only in November 2018 that probate practitioners were protesting against the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) proposed probate fee hikes. At that stage some fees were proposed to increase from the current £155.00 (or £215.00 for an applicant is person) to £6,000 for the wealthiest estates. If accepted the fee changes would have come into force in April 2019 but were delayed indefinitely.
On 3rd August the MOJ issued its latest list of probate fees. In a welcome surprise, for estates which are exempt from Inheritance Tax, the fee has now been reduced to £10.00 and the personal application fee is now only £60.00. The current maximum fee is £155.00.
Lindsey Rawson, partner at Howells LLP, states that the fee reduction will go a long way to enabling some families, where the deceased’s estate is asset rich and cash poor or where the relatives left to deal with the estate are unable to afford the fee themselves, to be able to obtain a grant of probate and see through to completion the wishes of the deceased.