A rise in the government’s probate fee, that would have resulted in bereaved families facing costs of over £6,000 in probate grants, has now been abandoned in a move approved by the Law society.
In the former governmental plans, probate fees would have seen a significant hike from the current fee fixed of between £215 to £155 with the assistance of a solicitor, to a new sliding scale featuring fees of around £6,000 calculated by the estate size.
Robert Buckland, Justice Secretary has discarded these plans that were introduced by former Prime Minister Theresa May and due to be launched as law in 2020.
The Law Society, along with several other organisations, have campaigned against the proposition of a hike in probate fees and Buckland has stated that his decision was influenced by listening closely to the forceful views expressed against the new fee system.
“While fees are necessary to properly fund our world-leading courts system, they must be fair and proportionate. We will withdraw these proposals, and keep the current system while we take a closer look at these court fees as part of our annual wider review.”
Simon Davis, Law Society President, commented on the government’s decision:
“A hike in probate fees would have been a tax on grief.”
He added that the Law Society and other organisations had campaigned on behalf of the bereaved against such an increase in fees, and were grateful the government had listened to the opposition.