On 22 April the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) increased court fees for probate applications through a solicitor by 244%, while personal applications rose by almost 105%.
Anyone wishing to make a probate application through a solicitor will need to pay £155 (up from £45). Fees for personal applications, or those not through a solicitor, will rise to £215 (up from £105). The MoJ says the new charges are intended to move the courts system closer to recovering its own costs via user fees.
The MoJ’s proposals, which were circulated in December 2013, were met with considerable criticism in the brief consultation. In its statement of 24 January, the MoJ justified the increases by noting that, in many instances, the fees will be met from the estate of the deceased. It also clarified that fee remissions will be available for those who are unable to afford the fees.
However, Court of Protection fees will be considerably reduced. Fees for simpler cases will be cut from £400 to £220. This includes applications to appoint a deputy for property and affairs, applications by a deputy regarding decisions about property and affairs, and applications to appoint or discharge a trustee. However, these reductions have been deferred until later this year.
For further clarity:
- For professional applicants, for example solicitors, the fee for extracting the grant will be £155, up from £45.
- For personal applicants, the total amount payable will be £215, up from £105. This breaks down into the new £155 application fee plus the unchanged £60 personal application fee.
- Additionally, the Probate Service has confirmed that the fee per certified copy grant, when requested at the same time as the application for grant, will reduce from £1 to 50p.