Probate: Charities

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the merits of the conclusion of the Institute of Legacy Management in November 2018 that changes to probate fees could cost charities in the region of £10 million annually in legacy income.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Fixed sum donations will not be affected by the proposed increase in fees. The changes will only affect those estates where the deceased has left an entire estate, or a percentage of their residuary estate to charity. The proposed fees are proportional to the value of the estate, meaning that no estate will ever pay more than 0.5% of its value in probate fees.

However, we are aware of the figure cited by the Institute of Legacy Management and will carefully consider this assessment, should the Institute of Legacy Management be open to sharing their data with the department. We are unable to consider the merits of their conclusion otherwise, as the Probate Service does not collect data regarding charitable donations left in wills.

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