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Government abandons probate fee hike

Plans to increase probate fees that were due to take effect earlier this year have been scrapped.

Families currently pay a flat fee of up to £215 to obtain the grant of probate needed in England and Wales to administer estates worth more than £5,000.

That system was due to be replaced on 1 April 2019 by a new system that would set fees on a sliding scale based on the value of an estate.

The minimum probate fee, which is paid when administering someone's estate, was set to increase from £215 to £250 for estates worth less than £500,000.

It would have been set at £4,000 for estates valued at more than £1 million and £6,000 for estates worth more than £2m.

The rollout of the controversial plan was delayed indefinitely back in March 2019, but the change has now been dropped and a review of the existing system is set to be conducted instead.

A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Justice said:

"While [probate] fees are necessary to properly fund our world-leading courts system, they must be fair and proportionate.

"We will withdraw these proposals, and keep the current system while we take a closer look at these court fees as part of our annual wider review."

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