U-turn on probate fee reforms ahead of snap general election

Following breaking news of a snap general election to be held in June, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced that previous proposals to reform the probate fee system from the beginning of May will no longer go ahead.

The proposed reforms would have seen thousands of Britons incur higher probate fees, due to a new regime which would have used ‘sliding fees’ linked to the value of each estate.

Estates valued between £50,000 and £300,000 would have attracted probate fees of £300, while estates worth £2m or more would have incurred fees as high as £20,000.

But the MoJ has said that there is now insufficient time to pass the new legislation through Parliament prior to the election.

However, it is yet to be seen whether the MoJ has scrapped the plans for good, or whether they will be reconsidered once June has passed – which could potentially see the new fee system introduced as soon as July.

Previously, the joint committee on statutory instruments, which is made up predominantly of peers and MPs, had heavily criticised the plans.

The committee voiced concerns that the ‘sliding fee’ system had all “the hallmarks of taxes, rather than fees,” while the media dubbed the new probate regime “a stealth death tax”.

Carter Lemon Camerons LLP Solicitors is a City law firm which provides wills and probate services with a personal touch to its clients. Unlike many City practices we are happy to act in smaller private legal matters, bringing the same care and consideration as we do to large commercial matters.  If you require advice on wills and probate, please contactIan West or Michael Woodward or telephone: 020 7406 1000.