Probate fees to increase despite overwhelming rejection pleas
The Government has announced its intention to proceed with plans to increase probate fees. This is despite an overwhelming rejection of the proposals from firms like Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) of whom we are members.
Below is a statement made by Claire Davis, Director, SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly):
"SFE is extremely disappointed to see that the consensus to reject the proposed probate fees has been ignored.
"For the 62% of estates that use a solicitor, probate registry performs a purely administrative role, and the value of the estate has no bearing on the work undertaken.
"To burden larger estates with a significantly larger fee is an unfair form of taxation. For people in this situation, their property is often their primary asset, and they have little cash to pay for higher probate fees, on top of other necessities such as IHT or the use of a solicitor.
"The increase in probate fees will place a burden on families at a sensitive and distressing time and is likely to put people who are vulnerable and/or elderly at risk. Our fear is that such clients might be persuaded to take steps to avoid probate fees, even if the effect is to leave them with insufficient assets to provide for themselves for the rest of their life."
The comment has already been featured in a This Is Money article this morning, alongside several other professionals who agree with our point of view. To see the full article, click here.