Budget 2017

Hi guys. Calling everyone in my position in the UK.

Have you seen what those robbing Bar-stewards have done in the budget? They have put up the costs of probate. What use to cost a couple of hundred pounds, is now likely to cost thousands!!! This comes in on the 1st May 2017. Less than two months time. So anybody still hiding under their blanket, like me, had better get out and sort this ASAP!

As if life isn't bad enough, without this sort of pressure.

Lots of love


29 Replies

  • That post had just made me smile Anne, Keith always used to call anyone he wasn't keen on a Bar Steward!

    Hope you're doing ok...

    Hugs Pat xx

  • Details in this BBC News item from 1st March bbc.co.uk/news/business-391...

  • I was a private client lawyer in a local fIrm of Solicitors in the 80s and 90s when Probate Court Fees were quite reasonable and am absolutely disgusted by this money grabbing measure by the government.. The Probate Registry with which the firm dealt provided an excellent, efficient service and the staff were always very helpful if one needed to phone for advice before preparing the Oath to be sworn by the Executors/Administrators in unusual circumstances, if, for example, the appointment of Executors in the Will was defective or, In an Intestacy, there were no immediate family members - although the majority of applications were straight forward. The rate of Fee was reduced where the application was made by a firm of Solicitors.

    This huge rise cannot be justified in terms of increased costs: as costs have risen, so has the value of most estates, especially where real property is a part thereof. Indeed the. Government does not actually claim costs as a reason, but prefers to waffle on, via its Ministry of Justice spokesman, about the need to 'maintain an accessible, world-beating justice system which puts the needs of victims and vulnerable people first'. A statement which, in the context of Probate, is meaningless: what is actually meant is that it is thought justified to charge the beneficiaries of estates excessively high fees in order to raise funds for social care. Why don't they just say so ? From experience I know that it can be a simpler exercise to administer a large estate than it is to deal with a small one - it all depends on what the contents of the estate are.

    Fortunately, my husband and I have arranged our assets so that, when one of us dies, everything passes by survivorship and Probate will not be needed. However as we own a house in the overpriced South East of England, on the second death our children will have to raise £4,000 instead of £215 in order to apply for Probate of the Will.

    Probate does not merely give the Executors/Admiistrators authority to distribute te estate to beneficiaries: more importantly, in granting Probate the court is giving the persons named in the grant the authority to collect in the assets in order to be able to have anything to distribute. Our children would not be able, for example, to sell the house or to have the title put into their joint names without a grant of Probate.

    So, I can only conclude that this is a cynical exercise in raising money from those who are the beneficiaries of estates who, without a grant of Probate to the Executors, cannot obtain their entitlement. It also reveals the basic dishonesty of this government in the manner in which this measure has been dealt with and in its 'explanation' of the reasons for this vast increase. This is a government which is no better than its predecessors.

  • So, if you live in England and have suffered the loss of a partner and need to get Probate of his/her Will or, if the departed did not leave a Will, you need to get authority to administer the estate, do everything you can to get your application in before 1st May !!!!!!

  • Aren't politicians slimeballs, they must all have gone to Oxford or Cambridge to study 'How to the extract money on the sly' I hate the way they avoid being upfront and honest as to how and why they change the rules/goalposts in order to raise money for funding vital services. I'm not sure I trust any single one of them.

    K xx

  • Re your final sentence: I don't!!

  • There are lots of things being slid in. My main concern is that the widows pension will be cut to £25 a week from £112 a week after this April. This will mean I will have to find a job straight away when Steve dies as I am 62 and wont get my pension for another 4 years - at least I would have had a years grace to look for something. They have put the bereavement grant up by £500 as a lump sum but doesn't make up for the clawing back. Worried about this as given the way employment stands at the moment, faced with employing a young person or a knackered 62 year old who would you choose.. let me think (and I wouldn't blame them) !! Source:Martins Money Box.. Pauline xx

  • I know what you mean I am only 57 but a knackered 57 after caring for Brian for so many years. I now find it am on the scrap heap financialy. I am have been given bereavement benefits untill a year after Brian's death (September). But after that I have then got to get a job because I have got another 10 years before I get my pension.

    So by the time I can retire I will be to worn out and skint to worry.

    Jane xx

  • Gosh - They really are slipping stuff in.

    Lifetime Tax... They can't fiddle it it and is fair and even... So we will never get it.

  • Ahhhh! Get out from under that blanket Heady. I stayed under it for a long time but when I realised I hadn't received any of C's pension, finally knuckled down, searching through mountains of paperwork, trolling the internet to find out the value of his shares on the day he died and getting the estate agent in to value the house. The probate form is simple, it's the tax form that takes the time. It wasn't difficult, just time consuming and although I paid more for probate than if I had gone to a solicitor, I didn't have to pay the horrendous fees the solicitors had quoted or wait for them to complete things in their time. The instruction booklet is very detailed and the staff in the probate office were brilliant when I asked them questions. I only had to go through probate because our house is tenants in common, C's share now in trust for our son's. if everything was left to me, Probate wasn't required. The pension people saw the will and as the boys were mentioned, they wanted to make sure the pension went to me before paying anything out.

    I was concerned, living in the South East but the value counted for tax is only half of the assets, C's half and it came to under the threshold as he didn't own anything valuable, apart from his half of the house. Unfortunately it will be the boys who will pay the most so I think I'll start giving some to them for the future.

    Apart from the business side of things Heady, I hope you are finding life after PSP can be good , tinged with sadness but good as well.

    Sending you a big hug.


  • This is Spooky

    Today i went to our bank; Santander to look at investing ISA's for Geoff.

    I couldn't do this because they did not ask me to bring proof of his ID

    (i.e a passport) but we filled out the forms and I said I would bring his passport next week.

    I asked what happened when Geoff was no longer here and she said the ISA's would need to go to probate.

    I have no idea about these things and sometimes am a fool to myself.

    Shall I continue to invest his pension (a lump sum, having reached 65) in fixed ISA's or has anyone got advice on how I can invest and not have to go through the probate process?

    I am glad I read this but equally I am confused.

    PS I have registered POA for him

  • I would post that on the Money Saving Expert board... They are very good.

  • Hi Heady

    I have just been going through mounds of paperwork gathering everything I think I need for dads solicitors. It's the most horrendous task and yes we've been hiding too. I still haven't packed away my mums things who passed away a year ago and find any excuse I can to avoid doing it. Now dad has passed I won't be able to put it off for much longer. Thankyou for your advice heady, there are probably loads of people who the government are counting on to continue to hide so they can rake in yet more money ! Take care lots of love x

  • Heady I had no idea about this. How disgusting they are to do this to people who are struggling to come to terms with what has happened. I haven't done anything yet as we haven't even had the funeral. Closed his Bank Account and that is all. It's a total nightmare made worse by the fact neither of my kids want to help me with paperwork.

    Thanks for letting us all know. I am seriously dreading this! Look

    Marie x

  • I'm really sorry Heady and very ignorant but I don't 'get' any of this at all! That's because I try and refrain from watching or reading the news! Not good I know, but I find life depressing enough!!

    Anyway I've read the other posts and am still none the wiser!

    Our situation is this when dad goes, everything goes to mum, both their wills are already written! Everything is in joint names. Do I/Mum need to worry?

    Again apologies for my obvious stupidity on this most important subject x

  • You may not. It depends on the wording of the will and if he has savings, pensions etc that need to be transferred. When my mum died my dad never acquired probate as everything was in joint names so we didn't think it necessarily. We did, however, have problems when my dad died as we hadn't the Grant of probate certificate for mum. We then had to apply for both 6 years after mum's death.

    You don't need to worry though. It's not difficult. The forms are on line, the instruction booklet takes you through the questions and the probate office were very helpful answering questions. The actual probate form is easy, it's the tax form you have to complete with it that takes longer but again there are very clear instructions and if you are really stuck, a solicitor will do it for a charge.

    Best wishes.


  • Wow, Bev, it's a minefield! Thx you! X

  • Hi Satt2015. I edited my original reply......I forgot about my mum!


  • Thx again nannaB x

  • Hi Satt, you are no more in the dark than I am. This is this week's challange. I have a horrible feeling that it will be beyond me and I will have to get the solicitor involved therefore pay even more money. It doesn't seem fair that I now have to pay thousands of pounds to her, to sort out a relatively simple estate, because the government have interfered.

    Lots of love


  • Simply disgraceful Heady!! And I'm very sorry as you don't need this!! Huge hugs x

  • You shouldn't have to pay thousands to a solicitor if al you need is her help in applying for and getting Probate provided that once you have the Grant in your hands you feel capable of actually dealing with the transfers or encashment (if that is possible and what you wish to do) of the assets for which you needed to get Probate.

    Although it is 17 years since I retired (at 57) and I know that costs have risen significantly in the meantime, I often did just that for clients who did not feel that they wanted or needed a Solicitor to administer the Estate. I don't know about today's legal fee structures but when I was in practice it was not the firm's policy to charge 'value elements' in addition to the time actually spent on doing the work so that, if I only obtained a Grant and gave it to the Executor/executrix or in an Intestacy the administrator/administratrix the charge would have related only to time spent based on my hourly charge out rate. This charge out rate was calculated to include the hourly cost of my salary, my share of the expenses of running the office, my secretary's salary and a proportion of profit for the partners. Obviously, the amount of time spent depends upon the content and accuracy of the information you provide to the solicitor.

    So, I would suggest that you ask your Solicitor's firm to give you a quote for just obtaining Probate : if that comes to thousands I'll eat my hat !! But if you were to decide to use a professional do remember not to cause any unneccesary time costs because even a phone call from you will be charged.

    If i can help in any way, just say so and we'll have to arrange to contact each other by private email.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do,

    Love, Ann

  • Hi, the government have just increased probate charges, from a couple of hundred, to a % of the estate, in set bands. This is from the 1st May. I think my solicitor is charging by the hour, so expects the bill to be about £2000 + VAT. Then of course I will have to pay for names to be changed. Add to that Steve owned a Company, whilst not involved in inheritance tax, unless HMRS says so, is an added complication.

    Day light robbery!!!

    Lots of love


  • Yes, I knew about the probate court fees rise and this is how this thread began. In my last post I was merely trying to alleviate concerns about a solicitor's charges. If the quote is for the whole job, including dealing with transfers in title and the company, I would not think that was excessive but if for just getting Probate (you sound as though you are expecting to have to pay separately for getting tile names changed) I think it's a bit high. It is the hike in Probate Court Fees that is excessive, unjustified and sheer greed, slipped in - almost - by stealth.

  • We have ,"Mirror Wills", leaving everything to each other, but we are," Tenants in Common", for the house. If one of us dies, will the other need probate?

  • Probably. Depends who inherits the half of house and how much It's worth. But I really haven't a clue. If it's to the governments advantage, then YES!!!

    Lots of love


  • I think you will since the deceased 's share in the house will not pass by survivorship but under the terms of the Will. If this is a concern, and, if you both wish to have a beneficial joint tenancy instead. ( but this would depend entirely on the reasons for having a tenancy in common) you can change by notifying the Land Registry that the tenancy in common is severed. ( before taking any such action I would suggest that you contact the Land Registry and get their advice as I retired 17 years ago and details may have changed).

  • Thank you. X

  • Re Probate Court Fees.

    It looks as though the hugh hike announced in Budget 2017 may not go ahead -- see the front page of today's Times newspaper. I would still advise people who have still to app;ly for Probate to get their applications in before 1st May, just in case!!

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