The Government has announced it has scrapped proposed reforms to increase probate fees.

Under the proposals, probate fees would have been assessed on a sliding scale, depending on the size of the estate. This could have meant a fee increase for some families of over 3,000%. The government had stated the main aim behind the proposal was to help fund the court system, however many described the suggested fee increase as disproportionate and a stealth tax. The proposed fee hike also led to significant delays in grants of probate being issued, partly caused by a rush of applications seeking to avoid the new fees.

Law Society president Simon Davis said: ‘We campaigned vigorously against the increase on behalf of bereaved families and are relieved the government has listened to reason. It is inherently unfair to expect the bereaved to fund other parts of the courts and tribunal service when they have no other option but to apply for probate’.

The Wills Trusts & Estates team at Cullimore Dutton welcome this news, which would have seen many bereaved families paying a Probate Registry fee of up to £6,000. The fee will now remain at a flat rate of £155 *.
*The fee for applications made by solicitors

We have one of the largest Wills, Trusts & Estates teams in Chester who are specialists in dealing with all aspects of Wills, Trusts, Tax and Estate Planning including Probate and Estate Administration. For more information please contact a member of our Wills, Trusts & Estates Team on 01244 356 789 or email

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.



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