Government U-Turn on probate
When the general election was announced, one of the measures immediately put on hold was the proposed increase in probate fees.
The planned fee structure would have meant that estates valued up to £50,000 wouldn’t have incurred a fee, whilst those worth more than £2m would have been faced with fees of £20,000. It was widely viewed as a wealth tax and heavily criticised in the media.
An executor appointed under a Will gains the necessary authority to distribute the deceased’s estate by obtaining a grant of probate. Currently, there is a flat fee of £215 when an application is made by an individual, and a fee of £155 if it’s made by a solicitor.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the steep rise in fees is needed to provide funding for the Courts and Tribunal Service. This means that another source of revenue will be needed to replace the projected £300m in income that the change in fees would have generated.
We will follow up on this story as events unfold.