The introduction of a new probate fee banding structure, which was originally proposed in 2017 and revived at the end of 2018 to take effect from April 2019, has been delayed as the relevant legislation has not yet been passed by parliament.

Following consultation  the original 2017 plans proposed a significant hike in fees but the proposals were dropped due to the general election. A milder version was announced in November 2018 with changes expected to take effect from 1 April 2019.

However, presumably due to Brexit, the relevant statutory instrument has still not been passed by parliament and fees will remain at current levels until at least 21 days after Commons approval is received.

As a result applications for grant of probate will continue to be accepted before the IHT account has been processed (ordinarily confirmation from HMRC is required before probate will be granted), meaning that estates will not be subject to the increased fee rates as long as applications are received before the fee increases take effect.

Executors of estates affected by the fee hikes should therefore aim to get their probate applications in as soon as possible.

Links to our guides:

IHT: estate planning checklist

External Links:

Draft Statutory Instrument: The Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018