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.

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.

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.

Recommended

I wish I knew what a marginal tax rate was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a marginal tax rate was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

Your marginal tax rate is simply the tax rate you pay on each extra pound of income you earn. Here's how that works.
14 Sep 2021
Why the government's plan for funding social care is a lousy one
UK Economy

Why the government's plan for funding social care is a lousy one

Insisting that people use their property wealth to pay for social care is perfectly reasonable, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
10 Sep 2021
How can you avoid paying inheritance tax?
Tax

How can you avoid paying inheritance tax?

Middle-class families are being trapped by a tax designed for the rich reports Alex Rankine. He explains ways which inheritance tax (IHT) can be avoid…
12 Aug 2021
Working from home? Make sure you claim everything you can
Tax

Working from home? Make sure you claim everything you can

People working from home can receive up to £140 a year in tax relief.
4 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Should investors be worried about stagflation?
US Economy

Should investors be worried about stagflation?

The latest US employment data has raised the ugly spectre of “stagflation” – weak growth and high inflation. John Stepek looks at what’s going on and …
6 Sep 2021
Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
How you can profit from the power of the grey pound
Share tips

How you can profit from the power of the grey pound

Higher life expectancy and surging asset prices have proved a boon for the baby-boomer generation, which has accumulated vast wealth. Younger generati…
10 Sep 2021