The new probate fee structure, which was set to be introduced in April has been delayed due to the time demands of on-going Brexit discussions in Parliament; we’ve blogged previously about the Government’s introduction of a new ‘ stealth tax’ here.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that the new probate fee structure will not now be introduced on 1 April. The new fee structure still needs to be approved by Parliament. The time devoted to on-going discussions on Britain’s exit from the EU means the MoJ has not yet been able to schedule an approval motion.
Therefore, for the time being probate fees will remain as they are.
However, this good news will be short lived. The Government has re-confirmed the intention to introduce the new probate fees as soon as there is capacity to deal with matters outside Brexit.
Unless there is a formal objection, the legislation will pass unchallenged – all that is required is that the name of the new legislation is read out before the House of Commons and for no-one to shout ‘object’. Once the legislation receives approval from the House the new probate fees will come into force approximately 21 days later.
There is a small chance that the legislation will not make it past the Commons. If the Labour party seeks to block the issue, this will prompt a formal Commons vote on the issue.
Despite the slippage in the timetable for the introduction of the new fees, if you have been tasked with dealing with the estate of someone who has died, you are still best advised to press on swiftly with your application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.