Regional Probate Registries to close

Category: Estate Planning, Probate, Wills

There are currently 10 regional probate registries in England and Wales and it has been reported that the Ministry of Justice plan to close them and to bring the Probate Registry under one roof. There are concerns, however, that by closing the regional probate registries, will remove their face-to-face service.

It is likely that the only Probate Registry for the whole of England and Wales will be based in Birmingham. It is unlikely that the staff would relocate to Birmingham from the regional centres. As a result, it would mean that years of expertise would likely be lost from the service.

The HM Courts and Tribunal Service is upgrading their service in England and Wales. The modernisation of the service is set to cost around £1 billion. Reports have emerged that the changes could potentially see 6,500 jobs disappear by 2022.

Some have raised questions about the significant increase in probate court application fees at a time when closures are planned.

Probate Court Application Fees

We are still waiting to see when the proposed changes to probate court application fees are to be implemented in England and Wales. Currently, the court fee to apply for a grant of probate is £155 when using a solicitor and £215 if an individual applies directly. However, the proposal by the government will see the application fee differ, depending on the size of a person’s estate.

You can read our article on the proposed changes to probate application fees by clicking this link – https://www.nash.co.uk/probate-fees-and-proposed-changes/

At the moment we do not know exactly when these changes will take effect. With the possibility of another general election it may mean that they are delayed.

If you have any questions regarding probate fees or any other enquiries regarding Wills, Trusts and Probate please do not hesitate to contact Rhianna Greenley, Trainee Solicitor by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01752 827039. Alternatively, contact David Cornelius, Partner and team leader of the department, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01752 827076.