Snap general election means changes to probate fees are off the table, for now
Changes to probate fees have been scrapped following the announcement of the snap general election on 8 June 2017.
The changes would have seen estates valued anywhere between £50,000 and £300,000 attract probate fees of £300, while those worth £2m or more would have incurred fees of £20,000 – proposals that attracted sharp criticism from many in the legal profession.
Now, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced the proposals will be scrapped owing to insufficient parliamentary time remaining to approve the measure, which was to have been phased-in from this month, before MPs return to their constituencies for the election campaign.
The reforms to the structure of probate fees were expected to have raised some £300m a year for the Courts and Tribunal service.
Before the recent announcement, the reforms had been dubbed a “stealth death tax” and the joint committee of statutory instruments – comprising peers and MPs – said the proposals appeared “to have the hallmarks of taxes, rather than fees”.