Our Probate and Estate Administration Team are available on 01225 755656, or by email. Alternatively, you can complete the Contact Form at the foot of this page.
Currently, the fees charged by the Government on applying for probate are £155 for professional users such as solicitors and £215 for others. However, from 26th January, there will be a new single fee of £273. Although nowhere near the threatened rise of up to 9,200% under the Government’s now-scrapped plans for a so-called ‘death tax’, the new fee still represents an increase of 76% for professionals and 27% for others.
However, the Government says that the increased fee will only cover the costs of processing applications – they will not make a profit.
Yet the timing of the increase is unfortunate, with bereaved families still facing an average wait of between six and nine weeks for a Grant of Probate, according to Solicitors for the Elderly. This is only a marginal improvement on the delay at the height of the pandemic. Until probate is granted, executors cannot begin to administer an estate, as all the while interest accumulates on the deceased’s outstanding debts.
To compound matters further, bereaved families are currently being asked to wait six weeks before applying for probate, resulting in even longer days and more interest.
Sarah Loveless, head of the Wills and Probate team at BLB said, “The probate service needs a serious overhaul, especially now people will have to pay considerably more for it. I see first-hand how these delays create even more stress for bereaved families at what is already a very difficult time. I’m hopeful that the fee increase will bring positive changes. If not, both consumers and solicitors will feel increasingly frustrated.”
Solicitors for the Elderly have expressed concern that the new universal fee will encourage people to cut costs by avoiding solicitors and applying for probate themselves. They said, “Seeking professional advice when dealing with probate will help resolve any complex arrangements with the estate and helps relieve pressure on grieving loved ones.”