Probate: Fees and Charges

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the effect on the application-processing performance of the Probate Service of changes to the fees structure in 2019; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Full consideration has been given to the effect of the proposed fees structure for grant of probate applications on receipts and subsequently on processing performance. We would expect an increase in the number of applications received prior to the introduction of the new fees, which would be partly offset by a decline in receipts post-introduction.

In March 2019 there was a significant increase of probate applications ahead of the anticipated implementation of the new fee structure but, as the fees were not introduced as planned, the high volume of receipts continued into April.

Urgent action has been taken to address the delays which have been experienced in the probate service. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service is increasing staffing levels and further improving the digital service to help reduce waiting times.

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