Fee proposals for grants of probate

Closed 1 Apr 2016

Opened 18 Feb 2016

Results Updated 17 Mar 2017

The consultation proposed:

  • moving from the current flat fee for applications for a grant of probate to a banded structure where the fees increase in line with the value of the estate, up to a maximum of £20,000
  • raising the threshold below which no fee is payable from £5,000 to £50,000
  • removing probate fees from the statutory help with fees remissions scheme

Following the consultation, the government has decided to proceed with all the proposals as set out in the consultation; a summary of the responses and details of the reasons for that decision are set out in the consultation response, published here alongside an assessment of the impacts of these proposals and an updated equalities statement.

The government received a total of 853 responses, including from;

  • senior judiciary
  • legal practitioners and their representative groups
  • charities
  • members of the public

All of which were carefully considered before reaching a conclusion. A list of all the organisations who responded is listed at Annex A of the consultation response.

 

Files:

Overview

This consultation sets out the government’s proposals for reforming the fee payable for an application for a grant of probate. The proposed fee regime will move from a flat to a banded fee approach, proportionate to, and rising with, the value of the estate, and at the same time will increase the value of the estate below which no fee is payable from £5,000 to £50,000, lifting some 30,000 estates out of paying any fee. The proposals are intended to be fair and progressive. The Government is also considering whether grant of probate applications should be excluded from the fee remissions scheme and are seeking views on this issue.

Courts and tribunals fulfil a vital role in an effective and functioning democracy. They provide access to justice for those who need it, upholding the principle of the rule of law that underpins our society, and indeed our economy. That is why we must make sure that the courts and tribunals are properly funded. This Government announced in the Autumn Statement that it would be making an historic investment of £700 million to reform Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service over the next five years. This crucial investment will allow us to modernise and improve the service we provide to the public.

Court fees are never popular but they are necessary if we are, as a nation, to live within our means. These proposals would raise around an additional £250 million a year, which is a critical contribution to cutting the deficit and reducing the burden on the taxpayer of running the courts and tribunals.

Audiences

  • Businesses
  • Citizens
  • Government departments
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Court & Tribunal staff
  • Legal professional bodies
  • UK policy institutions

Interests

  • Courts
  • Law
  • Probate
  • Access to justice
  • Equality & diversity
  • UK Law