Changes in the way probate is dealt with
It’s good news that the government’s original proposal to introduce a “death tax” has been scrapped, as this would have seen grieving families pay up to £6,000 for probate.
However, introducing a flat fee of £273 is still a big rise for consumers – it means an increase of 26% for individuals applying for probate without a solicitor.
Problems with probate and administering Wills
Since the start of the pandemic, bereaved families have had to deal with extensive delays in probate – which has only marginally improved since. SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) members are still reporting an average wait time of 6 to 9 weeks.
The probate service still needs serious improvements, especially now people are having to pay considerably more for it. We’re hopeful that the fee increase will bring positive changes, but if not, both consumers and solicitors will feel frustrated with the system once more.
It’s time to draw a line in the sand and be clear about how and when vital changes will be made so bereaved families aren’t enduring further stress and anxiety at what is already a difficult time for them.
Will this fee encourage people to cut corners?
We’re also concerned that this universal fee, applied to professionals and individuals alike, could encourage families to reduce costs by applying themselves and avoid speaking with a lawyer.
Seeking professional advice when dealing with probate helps resolve any complex arrangements with the estate and helps relieve pressure on grieving loved ones.
Seek professional advice
SFE lawyers like Cunningtons are experts in this area of older client law and will be able to advise on your specific circumstances.