The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has confirmed that the introduction of controversial probate fee increases, which were due to be introduced on 1 April 2019, has been postponed.
The current fee paid when applying for probate is £215 (or £155 for those applying through a solicitor) and there is no fee charged if the estate is worth less than £5,000. The proposed new changes meant that there would be fee increases for some estates, with a maximum fee of £6,000 charged for estates worth over £2 million.
Given the value of property prices in England and Wales, this could mean that many estates might need to pay increased fees. For example, a fee of 0.5% on a £250,000 estate would be £1,250, rather than the current fee mentioned above of £215 (or £155).
Parliament still needs to approve the fee increases and, due to parliamentary time being dominated by Brexit, the MOJ have said that the fee increases will now be considered ‘as soon as possible’.
No new date has been given for when the new fees to be introduced, but this will allow executors more time in which to apply for probate under the current fee system and that may be good news for many estates.