Proposals to drastically raise the cost of sorting out someone's property, money and possessions after they've died have been ditched - but the controversial plans could resurface after the general election.
MoneySavingExpert.com reported earlier this month how thousands of people would be hit by a steep increase in probate charges later this year, with some facing fees of £20,000.
However, the move has been put on the back burner following the confirmation this week that a snap election will be held on 8 June.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) last night confirmed it will not have time to complete the hike before the country goes to the polls. Therefore, the issue will now be a matter for whoever is in charge after the election.
Probate charges are paid to the Government after an individual has passed away and the executor of their estate gathers their assets to distribute to people named as beneficiaries in their will. Read our Cheap and Free Wills guide for help with long-term planning.
How much are probate fees now?
For estates worth at least £50,000 they are charged at a flat rate of £155 for those applying through a solicitor, and £215 for those without legal representation. There's no probate fee for estates worth less than £50,000.
What would they have soraed to?
Under the proposed changes, which were earmarked to raise around £300 million a year towards running the courts and tribunal service, the existing system would've been replaced by a sliding fee scale depending on the value of the estate, as per this table:
Now defunct 'new' probate fees
|Value of the estate||Fee|
|Less than £50,000||£0|
|£50,000 to £300,000||£300|
|£300,000 to £500,000||£1,000|
|£500,000 to £1m||£4,000|
|£1m to £1.6m||£8,000|
|£1.6m to £2m||£12,000|
|£2m and above||£20,000|
Many estates don’t need to get probate. If there is only jointly owned property and money that passes to a spouse or civil partner, then it will not normally be needed.