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Recently announced changes to probate fees scrapped ahead of the general election.

Recently announced changes to probate fees scrapped ahead of the general election.

Planned changes in probate fees that we reported upon last month are now to be scrapped ahead of the general election. Probate fees in England and Wales had been due to rise in May from £155 or £215 to as much as £20,000 for the most valuable estates.

The new system would also have seen the threshold below which no fee is payable increased from £5,000 to £50,000, lifting an estimated additional 25,000 estates per year out of the requirement to pay a probate fee.

The Ministry of Justice said that there is now not enough time available for the legislation to be passed but it is not clear whether the scheme will be brought back if the current government is re-elected.

Earlier this month, a committee of MPs and peers questioned whether the changes were legal, adding that the new charges "appear... to have the hallmarks of taxes rather than fees".

The fees had been earmarked to raise around £300m a year towards running the courts and tribunal service.

If you would like further advice or information about any matter relating to Wills, Probate or Inheritance Tax, please contact Iain Robson on 01325 466461 or email iain.robson@close-thornton.co.uk

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