Solicitor and his wife witness a will via WhatsApp video
A solicitor and his wife have witnessed, via WhatsApp video, the will of a client who was suffering from Covid-19….More
One consequence of the suspension of parliament last week has been that the government’s plans to change the system of probate fees have been further delayed.
The current set fee of £215, or £155 with a solicitor, was due to be replaced earlier this year by a sliding scale of payments up to £6,000, depending on the size of the estate.
The Law Society has said it intends to fight the proposed changes should the government look to reintroduce them during the next parliamentary session.
Speaking to the Law Society Gazette, Society president Simon Davis said: “It is inherently unfair to expect the bereaved to fund other parts of the courts and tribunal service, particularly in circumstances where they have no other option but to apply for probate. Should the order be reintroduced, we will continue to campaign against its introduction. This is a tax on grief.”
Officials from the Society also met with HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) last week to discuss ongoing probate delays.
HMCTS said it was dealing with 700-800 applications every day and that most delays were around six to seven weeks.
In a statement the Law Society said: “HMCTS has processed 98,000 grants since April this year and has a backlog of applications from March. These need to be dealt with by people who have the appropriate skill/experience.
“They have brought in an additional three legal advisers to support the quality assurance work, with a further 20 legal advisers volunteering to do overtime. HMCTS believe this combined effort should help with getting through the backlogs.”