Probate fee increase – in the long grass?

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It was breaking news on April 21st that the highly unpopular probate fee increases were to be scrapped ahead of the General Election as there was not enough time for the legislation to fully go through parliament before the General Election took place.

 

Given that the legislation to give effect to the fee increases had been rushed through the House of Commons on April 19th, can we be sure that these controversial fee increases have truly been scrapped and kicked into the long grass or are they merely on hold pending the General Election result?

 

A number of professional bodies raised concerns about the proposed increases.  These related to the fees being disproportionate to the service being provided, as well as the practical implications for executors.  For example, how would the executors fund the payment of the fee, particularly in estates where there are limited cash funds available?  The use of bridging finance was mooted, with estate assets being used as security.
 
However, the practicalities were far from being ironed out, and there was real fear that arranging the financing would cause significant delays as well as additional costs which would have to be borne by the estate, and ultimately the beneficiaries.

 

The initial proposals provided much food for thought and prompted discussions as to how assets could be arranged in a way which would minimise the impact of the changes.

 

The re-emergence of these fee increases will be a real concern to many on the other side of June 8th. Whatever the size of your estate, it is always wise to discuss matters with a qualified professional. It is never too early to begin planning for your estate to be as tax efficient as possible on your death, and the probate court fee increases provide an additional reason to review your plans.

 

As part of its comprehensive service, Glanvilles has a Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning team based in its Newport office. This team has a wealth of experience in helping individuals protect their loved ones and put their affairs in order, during their lifetime and in the event of their death.

 

Glanvilles Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning experts provide a professional yet caring and sympathetic service to ensure our clients’ wishes for the future are met precisely. As part of this service, we are always pleased to liaise with any of our clients’ accountants, stockbrokers and financial advisers whenever it’s appropriate.

 

Like all of Glanvilles’ specialists, our private Wills, Trust & Estate Planning Solicitors will give you advice and explanations in clear and understandable terms. For those who find it less easy to get around, home, hospital or nursing home visits are all part of our service.

April Ross is a solicitor at Glanvilles LLP specialising in Wills, Powers of Attorney and elderly client matters.

Please contact her on april.ross@glanvilles.co.uk or 01983 527878 for a free initial consultation.

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