Solicitor and his wife witness a will via WhatsApp video
A solicitor and his wife have witnessed, via WhatsApp video, the will of a client who was suffering from Covid-19….More
The government has ditched controversial plans to increase probate fees that were first unveiled by Theresa May’s administration in 2016.
Dubbed a “tax on grief” the reforms proposed a sliding scale of payments that would have seen fees for beneficiaries of estates worth more than £2m increase from £215 to £6,000, while also removing 30,000 estates a year from probate fees.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman told the Financial Times: “Fees are necessary to properly fund our world-leading courts system, but we have listened carefully to concerns around changes to those charged for probate and will look at them again as part of a wider review to make sure all fees are fair and proportionate.”
The change was expected to raise an extra £250m a year, however the legislation implementing it was halted by last month’s prorogation of parliament prior to being scrapped altogether.
Step, the professional body for inheritance and trust advisers, said the latest decision was the correct one.
Emily Deane, the organisation’s technical counsel, told the FT: “This follows many months of work by Step and many others to highlight the unfairness of the proposed increase, which amounted to a stealth tax on the bereaved.
“This at last brings an end to the uncertainty and worry that these proposals have caused to grieving families.”