In a recent article I discussed the government’s controversial plans for a substantial increase in probate fees. These changes were due to come into force today, 1st April 2019.
However, so overwhelmed has Parliament been by Brexit that it simply ran out of time to introduce the necessary secondary legislation in respect of the draft Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018.
As statutory instruments are procedural they usually pass without debate. But whilst it is unusual for them to do so, MPs do have the right to object to them, so strictly speaking they do not pass automatically. According to the Ministry of Justice, the motion will be scheduled once there is sufficient parliamentary time available.
Once the motion has passed, the legislation introducing the changes will come into effect 21 days later.
In recent weeks, probate lawyers have been working hard to submit applications for grants of probate before the change takes place, so as to take advantage of the current much lower fees. This will maximise the amount available to pass on to beneficiaries.
Whilst this delay is welcome, I fear it will be a brief one.
If you are concerned about these changes, or have any other questions regarding wills, estate planning, probate or the administration of an estate, please contact Swindon Wills and Probate Solicitor Megan Phillips on 01793 615011 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org