Government finally scraps proposed changes to probate fees dubbed ‘stealth tax'.
The proposed changes to probate fees have been scrapped following criticism from the Law Society, the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners and Solicitors For the Elderly.
Currently there is a flat fee of £215, or £155 if a solicitor is involved. The government had planned to introduce a banded system that caps the fee at 0.5% of the value of the estate, up to a maximum of £6,000. The threshold at which estates are exempt from the fee would rise from £5,000 to £50,000.
The increased fees were controversial, but the Ministry of Justice had argued they were fair and were needed to pay for the rising costs of administering the courts system.
The motion to approve the changes had lapsed with the prorogation of Parliament but Justice Secretary Robert Buckland then announced that the proposed changes were not fair and proportionate and will be dropped.
Solicitors For the Elderly have welcomed the decision tweeting that ‘it was clear from the offset that the new system was nothing more than a stealth tax’.
The Ministry of Justice has said they will look at fees again ‘as part of a wider review to make sure all fees are fair and proportionate’.
Please contact Jonathan King or Nigel Gibson-Birch if you would like more information about making a will or applying for probate.