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Probate Stealth Tax

View profile for Richard Dundee
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When a loved one passes away, your Executors might need to apply for a “Grant of Probate”. This document gives your Executors the power to close your bank accounts, sell your house and carry out any wishes you have given in your Will.

Unfortunately the cost of obtaining this document is set to increase dramatically.

In a move that has been dubbed a “tax on grieving families”, it is estimated that the cost of obtaining a Grant of Probate will increase from a flat fee of £155 to £6,000 in certain circumstances.

Set to be introduced in April 2019 (date to be confirmed), these changes will generate an extra £145 million pounds for the struggling Courts and Tribunals system each year.

This is not the first attempt by the government to increase the Probate fee. Last year the government attempted to increase the Probate fee to £20,000 in certain circumstances.

We have set out below a table showing the revised Probate fee costs.

Probate fee costs
 Value of estate (before inheritance tax)Proposed Fee
Up to £50,000 or exempt from requiring a grant of probate£0
£50,000 - £300,000£250
£300,000 - £500,000£750
£500,000 - £1m£2,500
£1m - £1.6m£4,000
£1.6m - £2m£5,000
Above £2m£6,000

Once the date is confirmed, we will apply for clarification as to whether or not the revised fee will apply to deaths occurring after such date as anticipated or otherwise.

In light of the upcoming fee increase, we strongly recommend that anybody who has recently suffered from a bereavement or  anybody whose Spouse left their share of the house to a trust, consider applying for a Grant of Probate before the 1st April 2019.

Our expert team of Solicitors would be more than happy to review your situation, please contact us if you would advice.

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