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Probate stealth tax – changes which could effect you?

Dealing with probate is always a difficult time in any family and Enable’s IFA’s in Bishop’s Stortford can see why the recent changes in probate fees are causing such debate. The Government has stated its desire to raise more than £250m a year from increasing probate fees. Probate fees, are paid by executors to process estates and allow families access to money and assets left to them. Currently there is a flat fee of £215 for all estates worth £5,000-plus. From May fees will now be paid on estates above £50,000 instead, but above this level costs will rise by between 40% and 9,202%. Going forward the charges for processing probate forms will now be linked to the size of an estate, the bottom rate will be £300 for estates worth £50,000 to £300,000, escalating to £20,000 for estates worth £2 million-plus.

This huge rise in the fees for applications for grants of probate has been called a ‘stealth tax’ on estates and it seems to have come into force despite, only 13 of the 831 respondents in a consultation issued by the Ministry of Justice actually agreeing with the plans – a mere 1.6 per cent. Most of those who replied to the consultation were legal experts and firms of solicitors. Probate fees are separate to inheritance tax, which is levied at 40 per cent above the nil rate band of £325,000, although married couples can double this up. But Probate fees will now act like a tax on an estate and must even be paid in instances where an estate is left entirely to a spouse and there is no inheritance tax to pay.

If you need help inheritance planning Enable’s IFA’s are happy to help, so give us a call on 01279 755950.

Issued by: Enable Independent Financial Life Planners • 
25c North Street, Bishops Stortford, Herts CM23 2LD • Telephone: 01279 755950 – Fax: 01279 657339
Enable Independent Financial Life Planners is a trading style of Enable Independent Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
It is important always to seek independent financial advice before making any decision regarding your finances. If you would like any assistance, please contact us.


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