Probate Application fees to increase from 26th January

Probate application fees will increase from £155 to £273 for all estates over £5,000 from 26th January 2022.

 

This represents an increase of just over 76%.

 

My Thoughts

 

We live in difficult economic times, rising inflation, impending rising income tax and National Insurance rates, we keep hearing that there is a cost-of-living crisis. I can’t help but think of this as a cost-of-dying crisis.

 

The Government introduced a new system for applying for Probate which is a digital system designed to increase efficiency and save costs. As part of the changes, many Probate Registries were closed and experienced and highly skilled staff laid off. The new system is not working any better than the old system and often worse, with massive ongoing delays and inexperienced staff doing their best but without the body knowledge which was previously available on tap.

 

In relation to deaths after 1st January 2022, the inheritance tax reporting has been simplified and restored to the position prior to 2005. This means that there is less work for the Probate Registry to carry out, and yet their fees are increased.

 

Summary

 

There is no choice about paying the new fee, and it is better than the proposed hikes just a few years ago (upto a maximum of £20,000!) but it’s still another cost-on death and an increase of 76% is amazing. Just think what the PM would say if solicitors’ fees were rising by 76%!

 

Naomi Pinder, 7.1.22