U-turn on probate fees hike welcomed

The government’s u-turn on a probate fees increase was today welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales, which ran a campaign to stop the fee hike.

Under the government’s proposals, probate fees would have risen from the current fixed fee of £215 – or £155 with a solicitor – to a sliding scale of up to £6,000 depending on the size of the estate.

“A hike in probate fees would have been a tax on grief,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.

“We campaigned vigorously against the increase on behalf of bereaved families and are relieved the government has listened to reason.

“It is inherently unfair to expect the bereaved to fund other parts of the courts and tribunal service when they have no other option but to apply for probate.

“In its review of court fees government should bear in mind that it is a false economy to impose charges that go beyond cost recovery. Equal access to justice is a fundamental part of the rule of law.”

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