MG Legal Solicitors 
Longridge: 01772 783314 Garstang: 01995 602129 Lancaster: 01524 581306 Lytham: 01253 202452  
As you may or may not know, it was announced in February that the fee for applying for a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration if there was no Will), would be increasing from the standard £255.00 (if you act in person), or £155.00 if your solicitors in Lancaster, or Solicitors in Preston, are submitting the documents on your behalf, to a tiered system. Under the new system, the fees would be charged on a sliding scale, starting at £0.00 (if the estate was under £50,000.00), to a maximum of £6,000.00. This may seem fairer (if your estate is worth £2,000,000.00 then it seems just that you should pay a higher fee), however, if there is no money available immediately to pay out the fee, this cost could be left up to solicitors, or the executors, to fork out – not so fair now, right?! 
With the new fee system due to be implemented in April 2019, the Registry saw a spike in the number of applications received. Couple this with the fact that they experienced an I.T issue, the timescale for receiving the Grant or Letters of Administration back from the Registry increased from between 2 to 4 weeks, to, in our team of solicitors in Preston’s experience, around 16 weeks (if not longer!). 

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Although the current timescale is estimated at 6 to 8 weeks, the Registry is still dealing with a large backlog, which is causing issues for executors of estate, such as the inability to complete a house sale, and to settle outstanding debts (due to the fact that they cannot access the deceased’s bank account without the Grant). On top of this, if there is an inheritance tax liability to pay from the estate, beneficiaries become liable to pay this from six months after the death. The delay is causing many families stress about whether they will be able to make this deadline. 
So, how are the registries dealing with this influx of applications? Well, according to The Law Society, during a meeting held with HMCTS, they confirmed that they were reallocating work between registries to help spread the backlog, as well as bringing in additional legal advisers (who support the quality checks of the work). They have also apparently had an additional 20 legal advisers volunteer to work overtime to help get through the backlog of work. 
Obviously, HMCTS is also urging all applicants, now more than ever, to check the spellings on the applications as well as that everything needed to apply for the Grant is present and correct – this will prevent any further delays from occurring. 
If you need help applying for Probate, MG Legal’s team of Solicitors in Preston and Solicitors in Lancaster offer fixed-fees of £500.00 plus VAT. For this amount, we will draft all the forms required for the Probate application, and go through the same with you.  
We will also deal with liaising with the Probate Registry, and completing the application on your behalf. At this time, the Probate fee for solicitors remain at £155.00, although this could still change in the future – you can speak to our team on 01524 581 306 (Lancaster) or 01772 783 314 (Preston) for more information. 
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors 
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