Probate rise discarded ahead of election

The proposed plans to increase probate fees have been put on hold ahead of the snap general election.

Due to come into effect at the start of May, the new fees would operate on a sliding scale, starting from £300 for estates over £50,000, all the way up to £20,000 for those valued over £2 million.

Despite criticism from industry professionals on the disproportionality of the rise, as well as the legal basis being questioned by a parliamentary committee, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Lord Chancellor showed no indication of amending the changes.

However, following Theresa May’s snap election announcement on Tuesday (18/04/17), the MoJ have stated that there is no longer enough time for the legislation to pass through Parliament.

Initially, the MoJ stated that the plans would be considered in Parliament after Easter, set to come into effect ‘shortly after’.

It is currently unclear as to whether the changes will return to Parliament after the election, scheduled for 8 June.

According to a BBC report, a senior member of the Conservative party declined to comment on the likelihood of this occurring should Theresa May be re-elected.

Commenting on the plans being scrapped was chief executive of the Institute of Legacy Management, Chris Milward. He stated:

‘We welcome this news. Had the proposed changes come into effect next month, as planned, we estimate the income charities receive from legacies would have decreased by £18 million per year.

‘Our members – along with donors, executors, solicitors and charities – were overwhelmingly against the proposals. We now seek reassurance from the Ministry of Justice that the proposals are scrapped for good, and not simply put on hold in the lead-up to the General Election.’

 

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