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Easing financial hardship when a loved one dies

Easing financial hardship when a loved one dies
The process of sorting out a person's affairs when they die can be difficult and upsetting for the surviving family members involved. The situation can be exacerbated when issues arise that cause delay and in turn, financial hardship. This year has been no exception. Grant of Probate Despite the rise in deaths this year, the Law Society reported th...
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321 Hits

The impact of COVID-19 on estate executors

Probate-Letters
Probate lawyers have witnessed a significant increase in the number of cases as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. The related volatility of stock markets and unstable property market has important tax implications for executors and their advisers. Inheritance TaxInheritance Tax is calculated based on the value of an estate on the date of death....
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653 Hits

Making a Will during lockdown

Making a Will during lockdown
The outbreak of the Coronavirus and the risk it poses to our health has led to an increased demand in clients contacting us to put a new Will in place. The lockdown has presented significant obstacles to lawyers assisting their clients and a requirement to adapt quickly to different working practices to ensure client instructions can stil...
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808 Hits

Probate fee increase narrowly passed

Probate fee increase narrowly passed
A Parliamentary Committee voted to increase probate fees by a narrow margin of nine votes against eight this month. The change will now be put before the House of Commons for final approval, but barring a majority of objections it will be passed and come into force in April this year.Probate is usually needed to administer someone's estat...
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1087 Hits

Changes to the flat fee structure in estate administration

Probate fess increase
Probate fees are set to increase subject to a Parliamentary Committee vote later this month. These fees are the cost associated with administering someone's estate after they have passed away.The role of a Personal Representative (PR) is to administer the estate of someone who has died, and although a PR derives their authority to act from the...
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952 Hits

Update on Probate Fee Increase

Probate Fees Increase
Not long after the Budget announcement, The Ministry of Justice has announced plans to increase the fees charged when making an application for probate​.  Probate is usually needed to administer someone's estate after they have passed away regardless of whether or not that person has a Will. ​The latest changes​Currently, the Court c...
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1325 Hits

Probate Fee Increase ABANDONED

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The Ministry of Justice announces there is not enough time for the newly proposed legislation to increase probate fees to be passed before the general election scheduled for 8 June.  

This means that for now at least, the new fee structure will not come into force in May as previously planned. The current fee structure will remain in place which is £155 for solicitor applications and £215 for individual applications in all cases for estates that are larger than £5,000. There will continue to be no fee if the estate is below £5,000.

The new fees would have been determined by the size of the deceased’s estate on a sliding scale and could have been as high as £20,000 in some cases.

Pinney Talfourd has been closely covering this issue as the new fee structure was due to bring about a sharp increase in Probate fees for applications made after 1 May 2017.

The newly proposed fee structure for probate fees was recently reviewed by a Parliamentary Committee to consider whether it was a legitimate fee increase or whether it effectively amounted to a tax. The concerns raised were that if it did amount to a tax then it would be unlawful as the Lord Chancellor does not have the authority to introduce a tax without the consent of Parliament.

Despite these concerns, the Lord Chancellor announced that the Ministry of Justice would go ahead with the new fee structure, until today when it was announced there would be not be enough time to pass the new laws prior to general election.

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974 Hits

Probate Fee Increase Declared as 'Unlawful'

Probate-1
The proposed new fees for issuing a Grant of Probate have been declared as unlawful by a panel of experts. Our Solicitor Chris Dickinson explains more.

You may have read our recent news article about the government’s proposal to increase the fees charged for issuing a Grant of Probate up to £20,000.

The new fee structure has been imposed as a Statutory Instrument, a form of secondary legislation, meaning it is not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Since the announcement that the new fee structure would come into force in May 2017, a Parliamentary committee (the joint committee on Statutory Instruments) has raised concerns that the proposed fees are ‘disproportionate’ to the service provided and therefore could be seen as amounting to what critics are calling a ‘death tax’.

The significance of the concerns raised is that Lord Chancellor does not have the power to impose taxes without the consent of Parliament which must be embodied in statute and expressed in clear terms.

However, despite the criticism from the joint committee, the Lord Chancellor has stated that the fee increase will go ahead as planned unless Parliament formally intervene on the basis of the concerns raised by the joint committee.

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1040 Hits

Probate Registry Fee Set to Increase up to £20,000

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It has been confirmed that fees for probate applications are set to increase up to £20,000 from May 2017. Our Partner Matthew Edwards explains more.

On 24 February, the Ministry of Justice published its response to a recent consultation regarding an increase in fees for probate applications.

The current fee charged by the Probate Registry to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is fixed at £155 for solicitor applications and £215 for lay person applications. There is currently no Probate Registry fee if the value of the estate is below £5,000.

The consultation held by the Ministry of Justice proposed the introduction of a banded fee structure linked to the value of a deceased person’s estate. The government has stated that careful consideration has been given to these proposals and determined that the increase was necessary for the courts and tribunal system to continue to provide access to justice in the long term.

The new fee structure is expected to come into force in May 2017 and the increase in fees is projected to raise an extra £256m each year which the government has said will contribute to cutting the national debt.


New fee structure breakdown:


Inevitably the new fee structure will attract widespread criticism and will add to the existing perceived unfairness of the Inheritance Tax regime. The added practical difficulty is that seemingly the Probate Registry will not issue a Grant of Representation until the Probate fee has been paid. This may not be practical as it is not always possible to access a deceased person’s assets until the Grant of Representation has been issued.  It remains to be seen if banks will agree to release funds directly the Probate Registry prior to the Grant of Representation being issued but reasonable to expect that they will given that they are already willing to release funds for the purposes of settling Inheritance Tax or funeral costs. However, estates that comprise non-liquid assets may need to explore other means of raising funds to enable the Grant of Representation to be issued.

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1225 Hits

Legal 500 UK 2015 Results

Pinney Talfourd have been recommended in an outstanding eight categories by the Legal 500 UK 2015.
Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors have been recommended yet again when the Legal 500 UK results were published this week. These lists are carefully selected after rigorous assessment and provide a guide to the top providers in each region.



Pinney Talfourd is now recommended for excellence in the South East/ Essex area for:
Partner Stephen Eccles is praised for his ‘ability to grasp the key issues in complex cases’. His team is adept at handling shareholder, partnership, banking and director disqualification cases. The firm is also described as ‘streets ahead in terms of customer service’.

The firm is also described as ‘a reliable and proactive outfit’ that acts for small private owner-managed businesses through to large plc companies. Julien Pritchard is described as ‘an asset to have on side’.

Managing Partner, Philip Cockram said: "We are delighted that our hard work has been recognised yet again in such a prestigious listing. I am very proud of the team here and the fact that individuals have been singled out for their excellent work just goes to show that we are meeting our objectives of a first class service with first class results.”

If you would like to find out more about Legal 500 UK please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click on any of the listed categories to find out more about the teams.
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