Features

Probate fees rise

The government has pushed ahead with its plans to change the way probate fees are charged. From April, the flat fee will be replaced with a new sliding scale.

"Some ghastly piece of legislation was always going to be passed while everyone was distracted by Brexit. Now we know what it is: a whopping hike in probate fees that will cost grieving families £145m in its first year," says James Coney in The Sunday Times.

The government has pushed ahead with its plans to change the way probate fees are charged. From April, the flat £215 fee (or £155 if paid through a solicitor) will be replaced with a new sliding scale.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

If your estate is worth less than £50,000, you pay nothing. Between £50,000 and £300,000, the charge will go up by just £35 to £250. For estates worth £300,000-£500,000, the fee increases to £750, rising to £6,000 if your estate is valued at more than £2m.

Last week, ministers classified the controversial increase as a fee rather than a tax, meaning the changes could avoid full parliamentary scrutiny, says the Financial Times.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Yet "estates are effectively being double-taxed once for inheritance tax of 40% above the nil-rate band, and then again through tiered probate fees,"Rachael Griffin of wealth manager Quilter told the FT. On the other hand, those with the smallest estates will at least avoid fees altogether.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/519223/how-can-we-raise-more-money-in-tax
Economy

What are the best ways of raising more money in tax?

Given that whoever wins next week's election will be going on a massive spending spree, we're going to need to raise at least some of that money throu…
5 Dec 2019
Visit/518715/what-are-the-biggest-mistakes-investors-make-when-it-comes-to-tax
Investment strategy

What are the biggest mistakes investors make when it comes to tax?

The tax implications of an investment are something we rarely consider until after the event. That could prove to be an expensive mistake, says Domini…
27 Nov 2019
Visit/516603/how-tax-has-shaped-the-course-of-human-history
Economy

How tax has shaped the course of human history

Taxation is as old as civilisation itself. But how much is too much? Dominic Frisby looks at how taxation, war and society have evolved together over …
16 Oct 2019

Most Popular

Visit/520338/how-much-the-state-pension-will-rise-by-this-year
Personal finance

How much the state pension will rise by this year

While Boris Johnson promised to hold a full budget within 100 days of his election victory, many of the details of next year’s state pension increases…
10 Jan 2020
Visit/520525/currency-corner-how-high-can-the-pound-go-against-the-euro-in-2020
Currencies

Currency Corner: how high can the pound go against the euro in 2020?

In the month in which we should finally leave the European Union, Dominic Frisby takes a look at the pound vs the euro and asks just how high sterling…
13 Jan 2020
Visit/520258/running-with-the-crowd-is-bad-for-your-finances-heres-how-to-resist-it
Investment strategy

Running with the crowd is bad for your finances – here’s how to resist it

To be a good contrarian investor, you have to avoid being swayed by the crowd. John Stepek explains how to go about it.
3 Jan 2020
Visit/520492/money-minute-monday-13-january
Videos

Money Minute Monday 13 January: a busy week for UK data

Today's Money Minute looks forward to a busy week in the UK, with the latest figures for both inflation and retail sales.
13 Jan 2020