The unintended consequences of not taking advice

The unintended consequences of not taking advice

A recent article posted on a professional Wills & Estate Planning group website has prompted this post.

The Ministry of Justice is presently consulting on a proposed rise in the Court cost of obtaining a grant of probate (currently £215 for estates over £5,000 no matter the size). The proposal is to base the Court cost of probate on the size of the gross estate (i. e. before any Inheritance or other Tax has been paid). Gross estates of up to £50,000 would be free and above this amount the stepped Court fee would start at £300 and rise to £20,000 for estates of over £2,000,000.

The article postulated that payments from Life Insurance Policies, Death in Service Benefits and Pension Funds which did not have named beneficiaries, nominees or were not written in trust would fall into the deceased person’s estate not only now for Inheritance Tax purposes but would also, potentially, inflate the probate Court costs!

When doing our Wills new client ‘fact find’ we regularly come across people who have purchased life insurance and other financial products either online or elsewhere from banks and building societies ‘without advice’. As a result loved ones may well lose out significantly on their death.

Anyone in this situation should consult an Independent Financial Advisor.

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