Controversial probate fee plans have been scrapped following the announcement of the Prime Minister’s snap election.
MPs say the Prisons and Courts Bill – which could have seen probate fees rise to as much as £20,000 for the wealthiest estates – has been abandoned until after the election takes place.
Ministry of Justice (MoJ) secretary Liz Truss said the reform could raise an extra £300 million a year.
The Bill is now in the hands of the next Government.
Under the current system, probate fees are charged at a flat fee of £215 on estates worth more than £5,000 – or £155 if a solicitor completes the process.
But under the proposed system, probate fees would be charged as follows:
- £300 on estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000
- £1,000 on estates worth between £300,000 and £500,000
- £4,000 on estates worth between £500,000 and £1m
- £8,000 on estates worth between £1m and £1.6m
- £12,000 on estates worth between £1.6m and £2m
- £20,000 on estates worth more than £2m
- Estates below £50,000 will be exempt from charges
Earlier this year, a parliamentary committee questioned whether the changes were legal. The MoJ had pushed the changes as a “fee”, but the committee claimed that the new charges appeared to have “hallmarks of taxes”.