Field Overell Solicitors

Leamington Spa 01926 422 101  |  Coventry 02476 229 582

Leamington Spa 01926 422 101
Coventry 02476 229 582

Probate fees – Government’s planned increase scrapped ahead of general election

The government has scrapped controversial plans to increase probate fees saying there would not be enough time before the general election on 8 June. Thousands of people would have faced sharp jumps in probate costs as a result.

The plans would have replaced the current flat fee (£215 or £155 if using a solicitor) for applications, with a sliding scale based on the value of estates. At the lower end, estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000 would have attracted fees of £300 – rising to £20,000 for those valued at more than £2 million.

Value of estate
(before inheritance tax)
Proportion of all estates in England and WalesProposed fee
Up to 50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate58%£0
Over £50,000 but does not exceed £300,00023%£300
Over £500,000 but does not exceed £1M6%£4,000
Over £1M but does not exceed £1.6M 1% £8,0001%£8,000
Over £1.6M but does not exceed £2M0.3%£12,000
Above £2M0.5%£20,000

However, the plans have drawn much criticism since they were announced at the Budget. Earlier this month a committee of MPs and peers questioned the legality of the changes which appeared to have the hallmarks of taxes rather than fees.

The government said it did not have data on the average cost of handling a probate application and that the legislation required to introduce the proposed fees would not be drawn up in time.  However, it is unclear at present whether the government will bring back the proposals in the event of success in the election.

If you would like further advice in connection with the matters raised in this article then please contact Mr Homer in our Wills and Probate department on 01926 422 101.

Owens v Owens [2017] – Court of Appeal’s decision on a contested divorce based on unreasonable behaviour

The Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs Owen would not be granted a divorce on the basis that a “wretchedly unhappy marriage” was not grounds for divorce. The court also found that the respondent husband’s behaviour amounted to “minor altercations of a kind to be expected in a marriage”. During this case, the court considered… Continue Reading

Resolution issues a new Code of Practice

Resolution, the community of family justice professional who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way have issued a new Code of practice for its members. The organisation, which represents 6,500 family justice professionals, said it chose to revise the Code of Practice to ensure that the Code remains of central… Continue Reading

New Family Court fees – 21 March 2016

On 21 March 2016, amended fees orders came into force in both the Civil and Family jurisdictions. The fee for filing an application for divorce, nullity or dissolution of a Civil Partnership has increased from £410 to £550. The other court fees for applications for financial orders, or applications under the Children Act 1989 remain… Continue Reading

Two wives win their appeal in the Supreme Court to challenge their original financial settlement on the ground of their husbands’ material non-disclosure

In another landmark decision in the cases of Sharland –v- Sharland and Gohil –v- Gohil, on 14th October 2015, the Supreme Court granted two wives the right to challenge their financial settlements in their divorce due to their husbands not providing full disclosure at the time of their original financial settlements. Sharland –v- Sharland Background… Continue Reading

Supreme Court allows Tycoon’s ex-wife to make a financial claim against husband 23 years after divorce

In a landmark decision in Wyatt –v- Vince, the Supreme Court ruled that the ex-wife of energy supplier Ecotricity’s founder could proceed with a claim against her ex-husband, although it is more than 20 years since they divorced.  He was also required to pay her legal costs to bring the claim against him. Background Mr… Continue Reading

Changes to Employment Legislation 2015

There are a number of changes being implemented within employment legislation in 2015, including an implementation of a fit for work scheme, an update to pension legislation, new rules regarding parental leave and shared parental leave and an increase to statutory adoption pay. Fit for work scheme Date to be implemented:  April 2015 The Government… Continue Reading

Government decides against raising the court fee to issue divorce proceedings

Following a consultation which attracted a high level of criticism, the Government has now decided to drop its proposal to increase the court fee to apply for a divorce.  The Government had originally proposed to raise the court fee from £410 to £750. The Respondents who took part in the consultation did not agree with… Continue Reading

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