Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Dropping probate stealth tax welcomed

Dropping plans to introduce a probate stealth tax, that could have seen Probate Court fees rise from ¬£155 to ¬£20,000 in some cases, have been welcomed by probate lawyers at Moore Blatch. 

The ‘virtual tax on death’, which was set to earn the Treasury up to ¬£1.5bn a year, had been branded completely unfair by the lawyers, who argued that it was no longer a fee for managing an administrative process but a tax on a person’s wealth at death.

Alison Lloyd, Associate and probate expert, comments; “We welcome the announcement by the Ministry of Justice. We also hope that it is not part of the Tory Party manifesto, and if it is, then it should not be positioned as an administrative fee but a tax on a person’s estate. I have managed hundreds of probate cases and while it is often true that larger estates do require more work, to suggest that the work is always commensurate with the value, or that it is 130 times as much work, is nonsense.”