Plans to increase probate fees scrapped

The Prime Minister has confirmed that a proposal to increase probate fees before the general election has been shelved, raising the possibility that the plans could be dropped altogether.

The controversial scheme to charge up to £20,000 for large estates had been authorised by Justice Secretary, Liz Truss. However, last week the Government stated that the relevant legislation could not be completed before the election.The decision on whether to push through the plans will now fall to the next government.

The new fees would have ranged from nothing for estates valued up to £50,000, to £20,000 on estates worth more than £2m, replacing the current flat rate of £215 (where an application is made by an individual).

The decision is good news for those  facing  responsibility for administering a large estate. Under the grant of probate process, a person (generally the executor of the will) is authorised to deal with the property, money and other  possessions when someone dies. Roughly half the deaths in England and Wales result in an application for a grant of probate.

For more information or for expert advice on wills, probate, trusts and estates, please contact our Probate teams in Halifax, Huddersfield or Brighouse.

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