Is the 'Death Tax' on its way back? Budget 2017
In the run-up to the Budget Statement, there's increasing speculation that the Chancellor is going to resurrect the much-criticised increase in Probate fees that was shelved just before the General Election earlier in the year.
Currently, the fees charged by the Probate Registry for issuing a grant of probate for a deceased person's estate are fixed at £155 if a solicitor makes the application or £215 for a personal application.
Under the proposals aired earlier this year, the fees were due to rise to as much as £20,000.
There's considerable speculation that the Chancellor is going to revisit those proposals despite the massive outcry it generated before.
The fees increase has been dubbed a 'death tax' because the proposal was that the fees should rise with the value of the estate instead of being a flat fee as is currently the case. If the measure is introduced it's estimated it could bring in £250 million in revenue for the Courts and Tribunals Service.
On the other hand, it might encourage people to plan to avoid their assets going through probate. We'll have to wait and see if the Treasury tries to combat that in some way. Whatever happens, we'll keep you up to date.
Watch this space!