Author Archives: Hugo Forshaw

Hugo Forshaw is an activist with the Merton Liberal Democrats, and a political adviser specialising in justice policy working for the Law Society. He writes in a personal capacity. Follow him on Twitter @HugoForshaw

The Government’s Probate Stealth Tax is Unconstitutional and Must be Stopped

On Thursday 7 February the House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee will consider the Government’s plans to hike the fees people have to pay to access a deceased relative’s estate.

Don’t let the title of the ‘Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order’ fool you – this proposal is anything but non-contentious. Introduced by statutory instrument, the order would see the fees charged for a grant of probate soar from the current flat figure of £215 to as much as £6,000, depending on the value of the estate.

Not only is this an unfair way to squeeze money out of grieving and vulnerable families, but these fees are also not fees at all – they are a stealth tax. The Government has already admitted that the increased charges will be used to subsidise the other parts of the court’s service they have cut funding for, rather than merely for covering the cost of providing the probate service.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged | 18 Comments
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