Increase in probate fees could discourage Wills

Published by Tracy Morrison on 12 February 2019

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The government has confirmed that probate fees will increase by as much as £6,000 from 1 April.

Sarah Mannooch, a solicitor specialising in wills and probate, said: “There is a real worry that these new fees might mistakenly discourage the use of Wills, as some people still believe they can escape probate fees if they do not have one, and see an increase in assets pass through unconventional or unstructured legacies. It might also lead to an increase in lifetime gifts being made. This could leave individuals vulnerable and financial unstable during what should be their golden years.

“It is also concerning that these increased probate fees will need to paid up front. We would hope that banks would release some assets early to meet these fees but that is not guaranteed. It is possible that we will see specialist lenders or products appear, possibly with high rates of interest, adding further pressure at a difficult time”.

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