The increase in probate fees won’t be coming into effect just yet...
The much-maligned increase in probate fees won’t be coming into effect just yet.
The Government had announced plans to increase probate fees on 1st April 2019. However, it is necessary for a statutory instrument giving effect to the banded fee structure for grants of representation (based on the value of the net estate) to be laid before Parliament, with the statutory instrument then coming into force 21 days after its approval.
Despite the proposed changes being approved by the House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee in February 2019, a date has not yet been set for the statutory instrument to be laid before Parliament.
It is thought that perhaps Brexit has left MPs preoccupied which has led to the delay. And it could be delayed even further as we approach the Easter recess. If the statutory instrument isn’t laid before Parliament until after the recess ends on 23rd April, this would mean the new probate court fee structure couldn’t be introduced before the middle of May.
Currently, the probate registries will be accepting applications for Grants of Representation before the Inheritance Tax account has been processed by HMRC, provided that the application to the probate registry is noted to say that the appropriate inheritance tax forms will follow shortly.
Split applications are being accepted whilst the new probate court fees are being introduced to enable applications for Grants of Representation to be made under the present probate court fee structure.
Currently, the Probate Court charges a flat rate Probate Fee of £215 (or £155 if obtained by a solicitor or authorised Probate Practitioner). This fee is paid at the point of application for probate on estates (typically) over £5,000.