Category: Probate and Estate Administration

Elderly farmer occupied farmhouse for agricultural property relief purposes despite reducing farming activities over time

The First-tier Tribunal has decided that an elderly farmer occupied a farmhouse for the purposes of agriculture so that its value was eligible for agricultural property relief (APR) on his death. HMRC’s view was that the property occupied by the deceased was not a farmhouse so that it did not fall within the definition of …

The Potential Downside of DIY Estate Administration

It is becoming more common for personal representatives to try and administer estates without seeking legal advice. The amount of information freely available on-line leads people to believe it is a case of simply filling in the relevant forms, and that if they do the work themselves they will save thousands of pounds in fees. …

Probate delays

The saga of the delays in obtaining grants of probate continues, now with the added highlight of the closure of Birmingham District Probate Registry. Rumoured to have a backlog of over five weeks of applications, it will nevertheless close on 30th August and all the work will be redistributed to the other, already over-burdened, District …

Executors and Costs

The recent case of Perry v Neupert [2019] EWHC 2275 is a salutary lesson to all executors, particularly those dealing with complex estates and cross-jurisdictional matters. The case involved the estate of an Israeli national resident but not domiciled in England. Under his Will he appointed a Swiss lawyer as the sole executor of his …

Brexit delays proposed increase to grant of probate fees

Brexit has delayed the plans to increase the cost of probate, the implementation of which has been met with widespread approval. The Guardian reported this week that the plans to introduce a sliding scale of charges, which would replace the current flat rate, were due to come in on 1 April. However, no date has …

Tony Benn’s Archive Donated – and inheritance tax avoided

Recent news included a story about how Tony Benn’s archive has been donated to the British Library under the acceptance in lieu of the inheritance tax scheme. The fascinating archive collection was accumulated by the former left-wing politician who died in 2014 over his life-time. It includes a diary he started in his youth, and …

The Significance of ‘Probate’ Valuations and The District Valuer Office Agency

Are you confused about the meaning of probate valuations and the impact these may have on an Estate you are dealing with? The term ‘Probate Valuation’ means the value of the assets as at the date of death. A ubiquitous term used throughout an Estate administration but do you really know why these valuations are …

The New Death Tax

A week after the budget and a sting in the tail. The government will re-introduce the unpopular and unfair increase to the fees for obtaining a grant of probate by Statutory Instrument with effect from 27th November 2018. You might recall their attempt to do this last year, which was withdrawn due to the general …

Proposed Probate Court Fee Increases

Back Down in Proposed Probate Court Fee Increase Following a nationwide backlash against the proposed hike in probate court fees, we are delighted to report, the proposal has now been shelved as the government state there will not be enough time, before the general election in June, for the proposed increase to be implemented. Following …

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