The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced a U-turn on controversial proposals to reform the current probate fee system – which would have raised the costs for many bereaved families.
The move came just days after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap General Election, to be held on June 8th.
Under the proposed changes, which were due to be phased in from the beginning of next month, the current probate fee system would have been replaced by a new regime with ‘sliding fees’ linked to the value of each estate.
Estates valued anywhere between £50,000 and £300,000 would have paid £300, while estates worth £2million or more would have incurred fees of £20,000.
It was said that the change would raise some £300million a year for the Courts and Tribunal Service.
Now however the MoJ has said that there is not enough time for the new legislation to go through Parliament ahead of the election.
Geoff Dennis, of OGR Stock Denton’s Private Client Team, commented: “This news will be welcomed by bereaved families and professional advisers alike but it appears that this is more of a temporary reprieve rather than a total abandonment of this proposal by the Ministry of Justice.
“Hopefully, the fairness and legality of this proposed significant increase to probate fees will be considered carefully after the election in view of the overwhelming opposition to it.”