The plan to raise probate fees has been scrapped. The government are stating that this is due to the forthcoming general election.
Currently there is no fee payable for estates that are worth under £5,000 however, the new scheme would have seen this change from £5,000 to £50,000 resulting in more than 25,000 extra estates, per year, being exempt from probate fees.
The fees, that were set to rise in May, would have seen the current fee of either £155 or £215 (depending on if you use a solicitor) increase to up to £20,000. This caused much controversy with MP’s questioning whether this was legal; stating that the new fees appeared to be more like taxes as the proposed changes would have seen the fee amount being directly linked to the estate’s worth. For example, estates worth between £50,000-£300,000 would have seen fees of £300 however, for estates worth more than £2million, the fees would have been £20,000.
The change in fees was expected to raise around £300million a year, which would have gone towards running the courts and tribunal service.
Since the announcement of the general election, the scheme has been put on hold. It is unclear whether the plan will be reintroduced if the Conservatives are re-elected.