The government has published a response to the consultation on probate reform fees.
Views were sought on fee structures being based on the value of the estate; increasing the threshold below which no fee is payable for applications for grants of probate; and removing these applications from the general fee remissions (‘help with fees’) scheme.
The 853 respondents included law firms, professional bodies, senior judiciary and individual members of the public.
As a result of the consultation, the government will proceed with the following:
- The threshold below which no fee is payable for applications for grants of probate will be increased from £5,000 to £50,000.
- The fees will be implemented on a banded structure, increasing in line with estate values as set out in Table 1 of the consultation.
- Probate fees will be removed from the general fee remissions scheme (‘help with fees’) but provision will remain for exceptional fee remissions to be granted at the discretion of the Lord Chancellor, in particular, where the executor shows that they have exhausted all reasonable means of funding the grant of probate application fee and would be caused undue hardship unless a fee remission is granted. The Probate Service will also be able, via a limited grant of probate, to provide limited access for executors to the assets of the estate, for the sole purpose of paying the necessary fee.
See the full report here