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May 9th 2017 / BY: Wisteria

Probate Fee increases put on hold (for now)

There seems to be an awful lot of news happening recently with the surprise general election being called by Theresa May as well as Brexit still being a key topic of discussion on a daily basis.

What does the general election mean for proposed changes to probate fees?

As a result of this election, a large number of the proposed new rules and regulations that were due to affect the tax world have been put on hold (albeit temporarily). This is because during the period of a general election, the new rules that were set to be introduced on April 6 cannot be implemented. It is however expected that once parliament resumes after the general election, these changes will be enforced retrospectively.

Aside from the delay in the proposed tax rules and changes, there has been a welcomed change to previous announcement to increase the grant of probate fees. This rule had been set to increase the current fee of £215 to a scale of fees that ranged from £0 to £20,000 come 1 May 2017. The Ministry of Justice had hoped that this increased fee for wealthier estates would raise an approximate additional £300m of income.

Many however felt that this was not an increase in a fee, but rather an additional tax on an estate which was deemed unfair.

However, given the heavy criticism and opposition that this additional ‘death tax’ (should you want to call it this), as well as the timing of the snap election called by Theresa May, this increased charge has been delayed for the time being.

When will we know what is happening with the proposed changes?

There have been murmurs that the proposed increased will not just be delayed, but in fact, will not be introduced at all. This is because the increases in the fees seem to be more of a tax burden on an estate rather than a fee increase given the potential increase of up to 13000% in fees for the largest estates. We do however have to wait until the General Election has taken place to see whether the elected parliament will revisit the proposed ‘fee’ increases or whether they will scrap the idea totally.

For more information as to how Wisteria can assist you, your family or your friends with probate and estate administration, please do contact one of their experts on 020 8429 9245 or email info@wisteria.co.uk to find out more.