Parliamentary briefing: Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order

This briefing outlines our views on the Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018, a draft affirmative statutory instrument laid before Parliament on 5 November 2018 under section 180(7) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The proposal hikes probate fees from a current flat fee of £215 (or £155 if done by a solicitor) to a sliding scale of fees ranging from £250 to £6,000 depending on the value of the estate.

Our position

We're strongly opposed to proposals that would dramatically hike fees for grant of probate from the current flat fee of £215 (or £155 if done by a solicitor) to a sliding scale of fees ranging from £250 to £6,000.

Key recommendations

Two amendments have been tabled to the motion to approve the draft order in the House of Lords on 18 December:

  • an amendment tabled by Lord Marks that would decline to approve the draft order, thereby preventing it from coming into force in accordance with the affirmative procedure
  • an amendment tabled by Lord Beecham that would regret the non-contentious probate fee structure that the order would introduce, and the move away from the principle that fees for a public service should recover the cost of providing it and no more. This amendment would not prevent the order from coming into force

We support both of these amendments, and calls on members of the House of Lords to vote for these amendments.

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