The cost of probate could rise to £273 under new plans announced by the Government on 9 July 2021.
Under the current system, the cost of probate varies by applicant; probate professionals are charged £155, while individuals are charged £215, regardless of the size of the estate.
But the proposal seeks to establish “a single consolidated fee” of £273 for all users – reflecting the full cost of processing probate applications.
The move comes after research suggested that the probate service is operating at a loss and requires taxpayer subsidies to survive. For example, the estimated processing costs of administering applications in 2018/19 was between £260 and £265 – meaning potentially hundreds of pounds are lost per application.
It is estimated that the changes could raise an additional £23 to £25 million each year – meaning the existing £85 million deficit could be cleared in as little as four years.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) stressed, however, that the measures will not “generate any profit” for the Government and are “significantly different” from proposed fee increases in 2019, which were described as a “stealth tax” at the time.
Commenting on the plans, An MoJ spokesperson said: “Every penny from these fees will go towards the cost of processing applications – meaning taxpayers will no longer be forced to subsidise them.”
To read more on the proposals, please click here.
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