The extremely unpopular, very controversial and almost universally opposed by the legal profession, plans to increase Probate Court Fees are to be scrapped for the time being.

The Ministry of Justice has indicated that there is now not enough time for the legislation to pass through parliament before the election.

Some would say the “death knell” for the proposed new sliding scale fees (that could have seen Probate Court Fees increase to £300 at the bottom end to an almost unbelievable, eye watering £20,000 for estates worth more than £2M) was the suggestion in early April that the new fees were “unlawful” and that the Lord Chancellor had “overstepped her powers”.

Others would argue that rather like the proposed increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed included in the March Budget (that the Government also had to perform an embarrassing U-Turn on) that the Government had again failed to listen to the comment they had asked for and simply gone ahead with the legislation that most saw as no more than a “stealth death tax by the back door”.

At this stage it is not known if the legislation will be re-introduced if the current government is re-elected in June, given the unpopularity of this legislation within the legal profession generally and on other matters with judiciary.

For further information relating to the points raised in this article, please contact Director Hugh Thompson, or a member of the Private Client Team.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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