Unpopular proposals to hike the fees paid by bereaved families have been put on hold until after the General Election.
The Government had planned to sharply increase probate costs next month to raise around £300 million a year towards running the courts and tribunal service. However, following Prime Minister Theresea May’s decision to call a snap election, the Ministry of Justice has announced there is not enough time to push the reforms through Parliament.
The issue will now be a matter for the next Government. The delay will come as a welcome reprieve to many, with the so-called changes dubbed a ‘stealth death tax’ by critics.
Probate charges are paid to the government when someone dies and the personal representatives of their estate apply for a Grant of Representation in order to gather their assets and to distribute them according to the Will or intestacy rules. Currently, there is a flat fee of either £155 or £215 per application for a Grant, depending on whether or not the application is made through a solicitor. There is no fee paid for estates worth under £5,000.
Under the proposed changes, the system would have been replaced by a sliding fee scale depending on the value of the estate. Estates worth more than £50,000 and up to £300,000 would have attracted fees of £300 – rising to £20,000 for those valued at more than £2 million.
The new system would also have seen the threshold below which no fee is payable increase from £5,000 to £50,000, lifting an estimated additional 25,000 estates out of the requirement to pay a probate fee per year.
How can Gotelee help?
If you have recently suffered a bereavement our caring team can provide you with the advice and assistance you need to deal with the administration and probate of your loved one’s estate.
We can advise on the general procedures of administering an estate, obtaining the grant from the Probate Registry and distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or the intestacy rules if there is no Will.
Gotelee offers you a speedy, efficient and professional service ensuring that all loose ends are dealt with.
Whatever the size or nature of the estate, our private client lawyers are on hand to help. We can offer fixed fees for dealing with the probate application and we do not charge a percentage value of the estate.