Inheritance Tax paid in 2016/17 rose 4% to £4.835m. This was compared to £2.384m in 2009/10. The increase is mainly due to the increase in property prices in the South East and the government freezing the nil rate band at £325,000 since 2009. It is clear that the Government do consider Inheritance Tax a valuable resource. Lifetime planning is becoming vital in order to mitigate what can essentially be a voluntary tax. We can assist you with the review of your estate and appropriate planning.
We understand that Aviva through it's Trust company subsidiaries are no longer prepared to act as Executor in the Wills of clients where they are named. They should have contact clients to advise this and return their Will but people move over time and they may not have received the message. This creates an issue with who is entitled to extract the Grant and deal with the estate which is easily resolved as there is an order of priority of who can apply set out legislation. If you are in this situation or need help please do contact us for free advice and we can provide you with a low cost fixed price for dealing with the estate.
The government has shelved plans to increase the probate registry fees by up to 12900% following the news of an election being called. They had proposed to increase fees to £20,000 for a £2 million pound estate up from £155. The Ministry of Justice had stated that whilst the probate registry was self funding at the current fee level they were empowered to charge what they needed and the increase was to fund other parts of the judicial system. The proposed increase had no bearing on the amount of work involved and the costs of supplying the service. The increase was to be put through under a statutory instrument but the Parliamentary Committee for Statutory Instruments agreed with the profession that this amounted to a tax and called for full parliamentary scrutiny. We understand that it had it's first hearing in the Commons with little objection and looked like it was going to go through at speed. We would expect this to resurface after the election and would encourage the application for the Grant to be made as soon as practically possible.