The proposed increase in Probate Registry fees due to be introduced next month will not now proceed. In an announcement today, the Probate Registry confirmed that:
"There is not enough time for the Statutory Instrument which would introduce the new fee structure to complete its passage through Parliament before it is dissolved ahead of the general election. This is now a matter for the next Government."
This will be welcome news for those administering estates worth more than £50,000, who would have incurred significant fees when applying for Probate. Estates worth in excess of £2m would have been subject to a fee of £20,000.
It remains to be seen whether the incoming Government will revisit the issue of Probate fees. The proposed increase had been criticised as a tax dressed up as an application fee, and the legality of the process of introducing such increased fees had been questioned by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. However, the pressure on the Department of Justice to fund the costs of running the Court system will remain.