HMRC announces delay to probate fee increase

Changes to probate fees - due to take effect next month - have been delayed as parliament wrangles resolve the Brexit stalemate.

Families currently pay a flat fee of up to £215 to obtain the grant of probate needed in England and Wales to administer estates worth more than £5,000.

That system was due to be replaced on 1 April 2019 by a new system, which would set fees on a sliding scale based on the value of an estate.

But, due to the delay in the rollout of the new probate fees, HMRC has announced that registries will accept probate applications for an indefinite period before the account has been processed.

Under this interim system, any probate application must include a note to say that the appropriate inheritance tax forms are also on the way.

To get probate, whoever is dealing with the estate must first submit an inheritance tax account to HMRC, and probate registries won't normally accept an application for probate until the Revenue has confirmed that it has processed that account.

The new probate fees system will now kick in 21 days after the motion to resolve Brexit is passed.

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