Proposed increases in probate fees have been slammed as consumers face “significant delays.”
INHERITANCE TAX and probate difficulties may surface in the coming months, as the Ministry of Justice has initiated an open consultation on synchronizing probate fees grants. In the light of existing substantial delays, the Law Society claims that this is “unjustifiable.”
If the total estate worth exceeds £325,000, inheritance tax (IHT) is levied on the estate of someone who has died and is passing on their possessions. Because the IHT process can be difficult, families can delegate estate management to professionals through the probate system.
When someone dies, they can apply for probate, which gives them the legal right to deal with their deceased loved one’s estate.
However, because a new consultation was started today, the probate application process itself could be upended in the coming months.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has started an open consultation that will close on September 23 and proposes “to harmonize the fees for professional and non-professional probate applicants into a single fee of £273.”
According to the Ministry of Justice, this price “reflects the costs of providing the service to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and would not produce a profit for the Government.”
The following are the precise goals of this proposal:
The Law Society slammed the plan, claiming that the probate system is already dealing with difficult reality due to the coronavirus.
“Plans to raise costs for probate applications are unwanted, especially when mourning relatives are suffering since the process is still susceptible to severe delays,” the report stated.
The Law Society noted that those who will be affected by the move will be out of money because the existing fees are £155 for professionals and £215 for non-professionals.
Stephanie Boyce, the President of the Law Society, reacted to the news.
“The MoJ’s insistence in raising costs in the probate service is concerning, particularly when the probate service is experiencing continuing and severe delays,” Ms Boyce said.
HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) reported receiving 17,101 digital probate petitions and 7,008 hardcopy probate applications in February.
In the same month, 23,687 probate grants were issued.
“With so many applications now being submitted online and the establishment of Court and Tribunal Service Centres to centralize administration, it is unclear why probate service overheads have increased to justify such a considerable fee hike,” Ms Boyce stated.
“The probate service has no secret.” Brinkwire Summary News”.