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?
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.
Beginners guide to using trusts in England and Wales.
Trusts are a legal arrangement that enables you to transfer the ownership of assets such as cash, property and investments to a trustee, or group of trustees. The trustees then manage the assets and pass them on to beneficiaries according to your own private wishes.
Placing any of assets into a trust has several key benefits. Most importantly, they are tax-efficient vehicles that can ensure that you pass on as much of your estate to your loved ones as possible.
Distributing your assets to your beneficiaries from a trust is also considerably easier than doing so with a will, allowing your family and friends to avoid the drawn-out probate process.