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PLANS to scrap a controversial rise in legal fees payable after death have been welcomed.

The rise in probate fees – dubbed a stealth tax by critics – would have seen fees rise £155 or £215 to up to £20,000 for some estates in England and Wales from May.

The Ministry of Justice said there is not enough time for the legislation to go through parliament – but it could resurface after the election.

Helen Bunker, partner at law firm Blake Morgan, which specialises in probate and has an office in Portsmouth, said: ‘We welcome this reversal from the government as it would have placed an unfair financial burden on families starting the often distressing process of dealing with a loved one’s estate.

‘It is unclear whether these disproportionate fee increases will resurface after the election, but we would urge the government to put them to bed for good.’