Consultation on proposals to reform fees for grants of probate
I wonder if you are aware of last month’s consultation on proposals to reform fees for grants of probate? Stick with me – it is not boring!
As you are no doubt aware, currently the probate fee for a solicitor-extracted Grant is £155 or £215 for a personal application. For a modest estate of £300,000 (less than the IHT threshold) this will increase to £1,000 – a hike of over 500%. The highest fee of all will be £20,000 for all estates over £2million. This is a shocking and unnecessary increase which is out of proportion to the costs of performing the administrative task of issuing a Grant of Representation.
The thrust of the consultation document seems to be that it is fair to expect users of the probate service, who are of course recently bereaved, to help to foot the costs of running the whole of the HM Courts and Tribunal service rather than this be part of general taxation. When the current fees were increased in 2014 we were told this meant that probate fees had ‘reached full costs recovery of the Probate Service’. Why then is it fair to place further increases on the bereaved over and above that cost?
I encourage you to make contact with your MP and respond to the consultation before the deadline of 1 April 2016 (shorter than the normal consultation period).
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Read the consultation: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/fee-proposals-for-grants-of-probate
I believe that it is important that we legal professionals respond to this consultation. You can view my personal response to the consultation here.
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