07 April, 2017
Victoria Motley at Forbes Solicitors, has welcomed the findings of a parliamentary panel of experts that a planned increase in probate fees is unlawful.
The parliamentary joint committee on statutory instruments found that the increase 'has the hallmarks of taxes rather than fees.' The findings of the report mean that the fees could be delayed or even scrapped.
Victoria Motley, Associate Solicitor in the Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Department at Forbes Solicitors and Member of Solicitors for the Elderly comments, "We are delighted to see the Select Committee has confirmed what was clear from the offset - the Government's probate fee hikes are nothing more than a backdoor tax, and the MOJ has acted beyond its powers in enforcing these changes. By proceeding with these fees, ministers point-blank ignored the views of almost every respondent involved in the consultation process. Since then, SFE has campaigned hard, alongside other organisations, to have these changes reviewed. Although it is unclear what this means for those currently applying for probate ahead of the deadline of 1st May, it seems likely there will be some sort of delay. Our hope now is that the Government re-evaluates these fees, and at the very least, finds a fairer way of structuring them."