Snap election postpones the probate court fee increase


24-04-2017

The huge proposed increase in Probate Court Fees has been postponed.

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The election has been cited by the Ministry of Justice as the reason for there being insufficient time to debate and pass the increase through this Parliament. However, it indicates that it will still be on the agenda for the new Parliament. Whether it will then be voted through, or indeed abandoned, as with the proposed national insurance increase for the self employed, remains to be seen.

Probate Court fees are charged after a death, before a personal representative can obtain a Grant. The Grant is the document needed to gain access to the deceased’s sole name assets. In the past it has represented the cost of the court checking the application and has been a flat £155. Under the proposed increase the fee from May would have been charged on a value basis and would have risen to up to £20,000. The vast increase meant it was seen as a stealth tax and solicitors have led a petition and protests against this.

For people with estates on which the Grant had not yet been obtained, it became vital to try to rush through the application in April, to save many thousands of pounds. As of the 21st April, much of that pressure is removed. However, all executors and administrators need to be aware that on the 10 June this increase could be back on the agenda and it would be possible for the increase to come into effect at the start of July. It will still therefore be prudent to discuss with your solicitor the steps that can be taken to shorten the process.

To view our previous news article on this proposed increase please click here. If you require advice on this, or any estate or tax matter, please contact Tobias Gleed-Owen on 01223 461155 or click here to email Tobias.

 

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