The government is introducing a new inheritance tax allowance for families who own a house. This allowance could mean that their estate up to £1m is free from inheritance tax. There is a considerable amount of misinformation about it in the press and on the internet. We recommend that you seek our advice to ensure that your estate planning takes advantage of the generous new allowance. A consultation with us will give you peace of mind that your family won’t pay too much inheritance tax.
In addition, changes to Court fees for a Grant of Probate are set to rise. The new Court fee scale, due to take effect in May, replaces the old flat fee of £155 with fees ranging from £300 to £20,000, depending on the size of the estate. This is regardless of any inheritance tax liability and could be seen as a form of taxation. Funding the payment will lead to problems for bereaved families who may not have the cash available. There is also a risk that it could lead to a rise in inadvisable or even fraudulent behaviour as people try to avoid the need to apply to court for a Grant of Probate. We advise caution before making any arrangements that could have disastrous effects, and we recommend taking proper legal advice.
Update on 23-05-2017 : To our relief the proposed sharp increase in probate court fees has been shelved. We shall have to wait and see whether this is picked up again by the new government after the election.
For more information, contact one of our team today.