Kathryn Purkis argues opposition to the government’s proposed changes to probate fees is misplaced, believing the move would have a Robin Hood effect in practice

The proposed Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018 has been dubbed a “stealth death tax” and “a tax on grieving families”, sparking political outrage from the centre and the left.

This negativity feels misplaced because the proposal should have a Robin Hood effect in practice.

Now one step away from being signed into law, the order replaces the current £125 flat fee for probate (£155 if acting through a solicitor), with a graduated band of fees, determined with reference to estate size, and topping out at £6,000 for estates over £2m.

The scheme imposes no fee on sub-£50,000 estates and contains a power to remit the fee in exceptional circumstances. Approval for t...

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