The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has stated that it has run out of time to push through legislation which would have seen a massive increase in probate fees introduced in May.
Fees had been due to increase, significantly in many cases, with a fixed fee of £155 (for those applying through a solicitor) being replaced by a sliding scale. This would have meant estates worth more than £2million would have been hit with a 9,000 per cent increase and would have attracted a fee of £20,000.
However, the controversial fee increase, which had been dubbed a ‘tax on death’ and which attracted opposition from solicitors, charities, a parliamentary committee and even Conservative MPs, has now been placed on hold, with the official explanation being that this is due to the snap General Election announcement which has halted parliamentary business.
There is no confirmation from the MoJ whether this is a temporary delay or will lead to a complete scrapping of the probate fee increase and a senior Conservative declined to say if the scheme would be brought back if the Prime Minister is re-elected.
Regardless of what happens in the future, probate services will remain important aspect of estate planning.
At Moore Thompson we have a long history of assisting legal firms and can work with you to offer your clients financial advice to mitigate their tax burden. If you would like to know more about our services, please contact us.
For further information about our wills and probate service, please contact us.