If changes to probate fees proposed by the government come into effect, it might just be time to re-evaluate your will with an accountant and the best solicitors for wills and probate Cheshire has to offer. After all, it could see your relatives left with hefty fees to pay after inheriting your estate.
According to the Daily Mail, ministers want to replace flat £215 probate fees with a new tiered system which sees you pay a fee proportionate to the amount inherited. While this seems fair in theory, the proposed rate means that many people will be paying vastly more than is the case presently.
With the average London house price at £536,000, an inherited estate at this level would attract fees of £4,000 – 18 times higher than the current probate tax. Estates worth in between £300,000 and £500,000 would attract a £1,000 fee, while estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000 would pay £300 – only a small rise on the current figure.
The scheme works in favour of those inheriting smaller estates, with the initial cap of feeless probate raised from just £5,000 to £50,000.
It’s claimed that the measures could raise £250 million a year, fronted mostly by the wealthiest of estate inheritors. According to the Daily Mail Online, Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said that fees would never exceed one per cent of the value of an estate and in many cases it would be considerably less than that.
This of course does not factor inheritance tax into the equation for which the threshold remains at £325,000, with the estate paying 40 per cent on anything over that threshold in tax.