Probate fees and your estate
Probate fees and your estate should not be another worry for the elderly but sadly the Government is proposing to introduce a scale linking fees to the size of your estate which you might think unfair to your family. For example, the fee on an estate of £1 million is proposed to become £8000 rather than the modest administration fee paid on a fixed basis for all estates seeking Grant of Probate at present. Northwich solicitors Stonehewer Moss are sure this worry for hard working people is going to be a source of upset in more cases than the concept might suggest. If your family has to instruct a solicitor or accountant to apply for probate your beneficiaries/ executor might be quoted at least the same sum again as the proposed fee and there is no way of avoiding a court fee if you retain assets that will require probate at death. Probate fees and your estate should be addressed when you make your will.
Michael Brennan, a solicitor at Stonehewer Moss in Cheshire suggests the following steps might help you reduce the impact of the fee increases:-
- I suggest you visit your MP at his next surgery or write to him. Your MP is obliged to deal with a constituents enquiry. You might explain your concern about what is effectively another tax on assets you have already been taxed upon and perhaps point out the hypocrisy of a government making much of Inheritance tax reform while imposing this fee that cannot be avoided.
- Consider planning your estate, seeking appropriate advice on trusts might be an option for some individuals.
- Pin down probate costs with your solicitor when you make the will. There is no reason why your distressed and vulnerable family should have to negotiate fees when you are recently deceased, as you could ask the solicitor for clear particulars of their fee scale or even fix a fee with them.
For help drafting a will and advice to assist planning an estate telephone 01606 872200 e mail firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.stonehewermoss.co.uk