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New Tax Looks Set to Take Slice of thee Pie of London’s High Value Estates

28 May 2016

Posted in Probate

As tax and estate planning experts, we at Pindoria Solicitors have become aware of an announcement that The Ministry of Justice is proposing, which will see a huge increase in probate fees affecting the highest-value estates in the country.

Of course, many of these are here in London and the South East and the proposal, which has already been aired in the House of Commons, has been seen as part of the solution to raise extra money to fund the courts and tribunal service.

This rise in fees could leave beneficiaries of the most valuable estates in the country worth over £2m paying £20,000, which is over 100 times more than existing levels.

The Ministry of Justice have said the proposals would take many estates out of paying the probate fee altogether, by raising the threshold value of estates exempt from paying any fees to £50,000 up from £5,000.

In a letter to the House of Commons, Justice Minister, Shailesh Vara called the proposals progressive and necessary for reducing the deficit and investing in the courts and tribunals service.

The proposals would see estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000 paying a £300 fee, with fees progressively rising from estates worth between £300,000 and £2m. The biggest estates valued at over £2m would be charged a maximum sum of £20,000.

It is a far cry from current fees of £215 for individual applications, and £155 for those applying for probate through a probate solicitor.

The Ministry of Justice have said that while the income currently raised through probate fees fully covers the cost of the probate service, it needs to go further to reduce the £1.1bn burden on taxpayers for funding the courts and tribunals system.

Opponents have already said this would effectively amount to a probate tax on London, but regardless of the standpoint of those against the moves it seems highly likely that it will happen.

Pindoria Solicitors has started to provide probate funding solutions to deal with the new higher probate fees. We can provide the necessary funding for the probate fees when we our probate lawyers are instructed to obtain the grant of probate and the administration of estate.