Legality of Probate Fees Increase Questioned
10th April 2017
The Committee last week called for full parliamentary scrutiny of the proposals to introduce a tiered system which would see a new top rate of £20,000. The Committee has said the new charges are a tax, not a fee, and therefore may not be intra vires.
Last month the IFB called on the Government to rethink its decision to press ahead with large rises in probate fees and a move to a new tiered fee system. IFB Executive Director Elizabeth Bagger said:
"This new system presumes that estates will have access to significant amounts of cash. This is often not the case, especially when a family business owner dies and the bulk of their estate is made up of the shares in the family business.
"For example, a farming business may be land rich but have little access to cash. Or the entrepreneur who had spent years building a business and reinvesting all the profits to fund future growth.
"This new system could drive bereaved families to make decisions about the future ownership of a business their family may have owned for generations, solely in order to meet a short term need for cash to pay the fee. This would be to the detriment of the family, their employees and community.
"These new system will have a significant emotional and financial impact on family businesses, and we urge the Government to reconsider this move."
The Government will now have to decide whether to withdraw, amend or proceed with the Statutory Instrument.
For more information, contact IFB Communications Director Fiona Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 630 6250.