Assured Wealth and Estate Planning guide to the increased fee level and how forward planning can mitigate the new fees
What is probate?
When someone dies, you need to obtain the legal right to deal with their property, money and possessions, and to do so you need a grant of representation, which is commonly known as ‘probate’.
When is probate not needed?
Usually you won’t need to apply for probate if the estate does not include land, property or shares, if it is passing to a surviving spouse or civil partner because it was held in joint names or if the estate is valued at less than £5,000. However, each financial institution has its own rules and may still require a grant of probate certificate.
The new fees will apply to all applications received by the probate service on or after the date it is introduced in April 2019, irrespective of the date of death.
What is happening to probate fees?
Annuities are retirement products that guarantee you with a regular income after you retire.
You choose a provider, pick an appropriate annuity to suit your needs and, in exchange for some or all of your pension savings, the annuity provides income until you die.
The use of annuities has declined markedly in recent years, with figures from the Association of British Insurers suggesting sales have fallen by as much as 80% since 2014.
Research from the Financial Conduct Authority reflects this trend, with year-on-year annuity sales down 16% in the six months to April 2017.
This is partly due to the fact that, following former chancellor George Osborne’s introduction of pension reforms in 2015, people now have more options when it comes to planning their retirement.
However, are annuities still a viable retirement planning option to consider in 2017?
Executors of an estate in England and Wales can now apply for probate online using a new online probate service launched by HM Courts and Tribunals.
This will allow executors to submit certain details online to obtain a grant of probate, although paper copies of the will and death certificate still need to be provided.
Dying without a valid will… How intestacy rules can affect your beneficiaries…
It’s easy to assume your property and possessions will automatically go to loved ones when you die, but in reality, this is seldom the case.
Thousands of people die every year without making a will, without properly drafting one or where the execution of the will fails to meet certain legal requirements.
This results in a situation known as intestacy, where usually a family member picks up the pieces and takes on the often strenuous task of processing your estate.
If you die without making a valid will, your estate – including all your money, property and possessions will be divided according to the law and not your wishes. Those laws differ slightly between the countries in the UK, although the principles are similar.
There is a specific relief that relates to certain agricultural property situated in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and in the EEA (European Economic Area). Qualifying agricultural property can be passed without inheritance tax as a lifetime gift or upon death.