The government has resurrected their misguided increase in the probate fee structure which they initially shelved 18 months ago. However, there are some key amendments to the original proposals, the most significant of which is that the new sliding scale means that the top level of fees will be capped at £6,000. This compares favourably with the previous proposals which would have imposed a top level of £20,000 on the biggest estates.  

The government has also increased the threshold for the value of estates to which the fees will apply from £5,000 to £50,000. Although these amendments show that the government has paid some attention to the objections that the legal profession and other stake holders made when they first announced that they intended to bring in these changes, the new probate fee structure will still effectively represent a new "stealth" inheritance tax. 

You will probably hear from me again on this once we have some more news on when it is likely that the new fees will come into force.