Increase in Probate Fees announced again.
Jeremy Crouch

I’m following the STEP blog update on this, but does anyone please know:

  1. If the fee increases are likely to go through and if any indication has been given when exactly in April?
  2. If probate registries will accept applications lodged before the changeover date without an IHT421? (I’ve emailed our closest probate registry but they’ve not yet responded.)


Ben Leach
Molesworths Bright Clegg

Nothing announced yet, however it is standard procedure to submit application for Grant with IHT421 to follow. Also, nowhere has it been mentioned what the operative date will be - date of the death or date of the the application. If the increases are to be made, then date of death would be the fair requirement.

John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors

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The draft regulations don’t explicitly state when they come into force and I would take that as meaning they apply to all applications received on commencement date or after.

I don’t know that date of death would be any fairer- more convenient and less stressful for us, perhaps!

Tim Gibbons

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From the draft SI, it looks like it is based purely on the date of application:

“12. The Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order 2004 continues to have effect where an application described in column 1 of Schedule 1 has been received by the Principal Registry or a district registry before the coming into force of this Order”

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

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If Andrew’s quote from paragraph 12 of the SI is correct, it seems the applicable fee will be determined by the date of receipt and not the date the application is made.

Once the date the new fees are applicable is known, consideration might be given to applications being lodged by hand or using the Royal Mail next day delivery service to reduce the risk of being delivered on the wrong day.

I recall the Probate Registry had previously been willing to accept applications without the supporting IHT421, ahead of the now defunct fee change. Hopefully this practice will apply for the introduction of the new fee scale.

Paul Saunders

This article published on 15 March states April 1.

Francesca Gandolfi
Canada Life

It certainly cant be April 1st as far as I am aware. The SI says the earliest implementation date will be 21 days form the date the SI is passed. This already takes us past the 1st April…

Chris Linton
Wollen Michelmore LLP

The Probate Registry helpline this morning has the recorded message that they do not know any details of the increase in fees, and if one is ringing them for help on this to end the call now.
Also, reading the draft SI is states:
“1. This Order may be cited as the Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018 and comes into force 21 days after the day on which the Order is made.”
Are we aware that the Order has been made? If not yet, then surely the implementation date will be at least 21 days from now and not April 1?

Jeremy Holding
Parrott and Coales

The message I heard on HMRC’s IHT helpline this afternoon (20 March) stated that one can submit an application to a Probate Registry with a note saying that IHT421 “will follow shortly”, and file the IHT400 with HMRC subsequently. However, I have heard nothing recently from any Probate Registry confirming this. When this last came up in 2017, a newsletter I received from Winchester DPR said:

“In cases where you are required to submit an IHT 400 or any IHT document for assessment by HMRC for Inheritance tax purposes then it is possible for you to submit the appropriate forms to both HMRC and HMCTS Probate simultaneously. We will not issue your grant until the approved IHT 421 is received but we will mark your application as lodged. To assist us in not raising this as a query it would be advisable to clearly mark your application that the IHT document will follow after assessment.”

It would be helpful if the Probate Registries could confirm the current position, but note that the March 2017 newsletter requires simultaneous filings.

Anthony Kalp
Berry & Lamberts Solicitors

Further to my post on 21 March, it appears that the 2017 procedure has been reintroduced, without the reference to simultaneous filings:

Anthony Kalp
Berry & Lamberts Solicitors

Email received today (28th March) from Liverpool DPR:

Good morning all,

Not just one update but two this week. I can give you the following update as to the potential introduction of the Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018.

The Fees Order is subject to an approval motion in the House of Commons, after which the Order will be made. The new fees will come into force 21 days after the Order is made.

The approval motion has not yet been scheduled. This means that the new probate fees regime will not be introduced on 1 April.

As soon as I have any further information, I will send it round.

As usual, if you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards

Team Leader
Liverpool District Probate Registry

John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors