The Ministry of Justice has scrapped plans to introduce increased Probate fees which have been dubbed a 'Stealth Tax'. The legislation was due to come into force from May 2017, but following the Prime Minister's announcement of a snap election, the Ministry of Justice have confirmed that there is now no time to pass the law before the general election takes place.
In our previous article, we discussed the proposals in depth 'Stealth tax introduced via the back door from May'.
Clapham & Collinge, as members of SFE ('Solicitors for the Elderly'), are elderly client and dementia specialists, and have opposed the changes since their inception. We believe that the proposed increase in Probate Fees was an attempt to bring in a stealth tax through the backdoor and unfairly prejudices our elderly clients, who have no way of avoiding these fees.
Despite 97.5% of respondents to the Government's Consultation being against the proposals and all 1500 lawyers who are members of SFE being in opposition, the Probate fee increase has not been ruled out altogether. A senior Conservative declined to say whether the scheme would be revived if the Prime Minister is re-elected.
In response to an online petition against the Fee increase, which gained nearly 40,000 signatures, the Government maintained support for the increase because of the extra money which would have been raised.
It is therefore thought that the plans may resurface and be implemented after the election, should the Conservative Party be re-elected.
Clapham & Collinge solicitors provide an extensive range of private client services including Wills, Trusts and Probate. For more information or to discuss your individual circumstances in further detail, contact us on 01603 693500 or email us using 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham, Brooke and Sheringham offices.