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What Does the New ‘Death Tax’ Mean for Beneficiaries?

November 08 2018

In a controversial government decision, Grahame Stowe Bateson understand that the introduction of a payment up to as much as £6,000 is set to be introduced in order for probate to be executed.Previously, the ‘Death Tax’, more commonly known as probate fees began at around £155 if carried out by a solicitor.

In a controversial government decision, Grahame Stowe Bateson understand that the introduction of a payment up to as much as £6,000 is set to be introduced in order for probate to be executed.

Previously, the ‘Death Tax’, more commonly known as probate fees began at around £155 if carried out by a solicitor.

The 3770% increase differs greatly to the original plans of £20,000. The £6,000 fee will apply to all estates worth over £2m, with a £4,000 fee applied to estates worth between £1m and £1.6m.

According to The Telegraph, this probate fee will be charged in addition to existing inheritance tax. It is believed that those likely to be affected the most will be families in areas where house prices are considerably higher, such as London and the South East. However, this could also cause difficulties for beneficiaries across the North in places such as Leeds and Harrogate.

For estates worth less than £50,000, there will be no increase from the standard rates, depending upon whether the will is being executed by a friend/family member, or a solicitor. An extensive list of the proposed fees can be viewed here.

Reactions from political leaders have claimed that it will cause a lot of difficulty for families around the country. As reported on This Is Money.co.uk, policy chief at investment firm Royal London and former pensions minister, Steve Webb said:

“Last week the Chancellor apparently had plenty of money to spend on everything from potholes to public toilets. But this week we see the Government sneaking out an announcement about a new tax on recently bereaved families.”

Much of the argument has stemmed from the notion that probate fees were intended to pay for a service. With this change, the proposed charges appear to be more of a tax than a service.

The reformed probate fee is set to become official from April 2019. If you have an estate that needs to be settled and would like to complete it before the new reforms come in to play, Grahame Stowe Bateson have a team of solicitors across Leeds and Harrogate qualified to settle wills and probate. The contact details of our various offices in the region can be found below:

Leeds City Centre - 0113 246 8163

Leeds Bramley - 0113 255 8666

Leeds Middleton - 0113 276 0044

Harrogate - 01423 562121 


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