Proposals to increase probate fees

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on a proposed price increase for probate applications as it seeks to address an £85m deficit in the delivery of services in the family jurisdiction.

Under the proposals, the cost of applying for a grant of probate will rise to a flat fee of £273 for lawyers and the public regardless of the size of the estate. Estates of less than £5,000 would continue to not attract a fee.

The latest statistics shared in the proposal suggest that there are around 270,000 applications for probate every year that are eligible for a fee.

The increase would “align the fee payable for probate applications with the cost of providing that service for all users” according to the proposal document. The proposals would aim to fulfil 3 criteria

  • Remove a “now unjustified discrepancy” in the fee structure in charging different entities different prices
  • Recover the costs of processing applications which currently costs HMCTS more than it receives in income
  • Raises an additional £23-25m for HMCTS, in support of the Lord Chancellor’s statutory and constitutional duty to ensure access to justice

The closing date for responses is 13th September with the increases scheduled in early 2022.

For advice on when you need to apply for a grant of probate please call Mark or Lauren at Amba Legal Services on 01299 251442.