A swingeing ‘death tax’ which was set to hit grieving families with bills of up to £6,000 has been scrapped.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has abolished the controversial planned increase in probate fees introduced by Theresa May.
Set to come into force next year, it would have meant almost 300,000 families a year facing larger probate fees.
The current probate fees are £215 for individuals and £155 if applying through a solicitor. Changes to the law were announced last November to introduce a sliding scale of fees linked to the value of the estate.
But under the new system, the charge would have risen according to the value of the estate.
It is estimated that 280,000 families a year would have to pay more, with 56,000 facing bills of between £2,500 and £6,000.
The law had already been changed meaning that if no action had been taken the fees increase would have been expected to come into force next year.
It would have raised the Ministry of Justice an extra £185million a year from the charges by 2022/23.
Instead ministers have ordered a wider review of court fees.
Mr Buckland stated that ‘while 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.’
The review of court fees, which will start within weeks and report in months, will only involve ‘small adjustments’ to cover costs.