Following the prorogation of Parliament by Boris Johnson in recent weeks, there has been a knock-on effect of halting the progress of the proposed extensive rise in probate fees, explains David Lea, an Associate Solicitor in our Private Client Department.
The proposals, which were outlined at the beginning of this year, had reached a stage whereby a vote had been scheduled in the House of Commons to approve the new probate fees order. This order was due to increase Probate fees dramatically from £215 for a personal application by over 3,000 per cent in the case of large estates. The fees are due to be scaled and based on the value of an estate which, for example, included an increased fee to £4,000 for estates valued at over £1,000,000 and £20,000 for estates valued at over £2,000,000.
The prorogation of Parliament has suspended the statutory period for consideration of secondary legislation which includes the probate fee order. The probate fee order has therefore only been suspended rather than fully cancelled. In practice however, given the current political situation, there may not be enough time to consider the order in the next parliamentary session.
We would still strongly encourage clients to not delay and come in to see us if they require advice regarding probate and estate administration to ensure that any applications are submitted promptly in case the probate fee rise is enacted.