Government drops plans to hike probate fees paid by bereaved families ahead of the general election

Controversial plans to raise fees paid by bereaved families are to be scrapped ahead of the general elections.

Probate fees, which is the charges paid to the government when someone dies had been due to rise to up to £20,000 for some estates in England and Wales from May.

The Ministry of Justice said the plans were to be considered in parliament after Easter, but has now said there is not enough time for the legislation to go through Parliament.

Currently, the flat charge for applications for a grant of probate of £215 or £155 is at least £5,000.

The lower end, estates worth between £50,000 up to £300,000 have fees of £300 rising to £20,000 for those estates valued at more than £2 million.

The new system would have seen the threshold increase from £5,00 to £50,000, lifting an estimated additional 25,000 estates out of the requirement to pay a probate fee per year.