Election halts planned probate fee hike

Written by Matt Ritchie

A planned increase to probate fees that could have reduced the value of legacies by around £18m a year will not go ahead in this parliament.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed this morning that there is not time for the necessary legislation to be completed before the General Election on 8 June, and any changes to probate fees will be a matter for the next Government.

The Ministry announced in February that the £155 or £215 flat rate probate fee on estates worth more than £5,000 would be replaced with a sliding scale of fees that could be as high as £20,000, depending on the value of the estate.

The Institute of Legacy Management welcomed news the plans were not proceeding at present. Chief executive Chris Millward said if the proposed changes had gone ahead the income charities receive from legacies would have decreased by £18m a year.

“Our members – along with donors, executors, solicitors and charities – were overwhelmingly against the proposals,” Millward said. “We now seek reassurance from the Ministry of Justice that the proposals are scrapped for good, and not simply put on hold in the lead-up to the General Election.”

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