The planned increase in probate fees has been rushed forward and then halted by the Government all in the space of 2 days.
I suspect that the announcement of a ‘snap’ election on 8 June may have influenced this sudden U turn.
I’ve recently been helping clients who were desperately asking me to file their papers with HMRC in advance of the proposed fees hike, thankfully now we can all relax. The Government’s proposal was to raise probate application fees from a fixed £215 to several thousands of pounds depending on the size of the estate, the largest paying £20,000. With the fee having reverted to the fixed £215 there is no need to rush, for the time being.
The next government will then need to decide whether to go ahead with the planned rise. Many see the plan to levy probate application fees on the value of an estate as changing the basis of the fee from that of an administration cost to that of a means of taxation. There is sure to be plenty of interesting debate to come with the politicians on this point.
In the meantime, if you are dealing with the paperwork relating to the loss of someone close my advice is to move steadily forward before HMRC rush onto the statute book with the high charges again.
If you are struggling with probate documentation or don’t know where to start, please do contact me for advice and guidance on the next steps.