Major & Co Solicitors

51 Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3UA

01483 455771

reception@majorlaw.co.uk

New Court fees to raise cost of obtaining probate

The government has revived proposals to substantially increase the Court fees charged when applying for probate. This is on the basis that it wants probate applications to subsidise the cost of other parts of the Court system.
Currently a flat Court fee of £215 applies in England and Wales or £155 if you use a solicitor for all estate over £5,000. Before 2014 these were £105 for the general public or £45 for a solicitor applications. The new charges proposed will be linked to the size of the estate and will be as follows:
· Up to £50,000: no charge
· £50,000- £300,000: £250
· £300,000- £500,000: £750
· £500,000 to £1m: £2,500
· £1m to £1.6m: £4,000
· £1.6m- £2m: £5,000
· Above £2m: £6,000

The government’s previous proposals to raise probate registry fees up to £20,000 were postponed on the basis of lack of Parliamentary time when it called the last general election.

There is likely to be a surge of applications leading to delays obtaining probate as the introduction of the new fees draws near. These may cause problems for estates with houses to sell.

If you have a family member who has died recently our experienced team can help you get the grant of probate through before the fee increase.


Ask us about registration of your will

In a survey, 67% of people in the UK did not know the location of their parents’ Will! The passage of time, house moves, a new Will and new relationships are all contributing factors to your family not being able to find your Will when you pass on.

Why Register?

Registering your Will gives you peace of mind that your loved ones can quickly and easily locate your Will when it is needed. If your Will is missing when you pass on, your loved ones could suffer unnecessary and additional distress and can be left facing serious complications.

• Your details are confidential and are only available to your beneficiaries when you pass on.

• The register makes your beneficiaries aware that your Will exists so they do not lose out.

• The register ensures that your last wishes are respected and that your estate can be administered accordingly.

• The register records our office as the holder of your Will (the register doesn’t actually hold a copy of your Will nor do they ever see your Will).

• Having your Will registered and regularly reviewing it are the most important things you can do for your loved ones.


Power of attorney registration fees rebates

Family members and others who registered Lasting Powers of Attorney or Enduring Powers of Attorney before April 2017 may now be able to reclaim some of the fees paid from the Office of the Public Guardian.

Family members and others who registered Lasting Powers of Attorney or Enduring Powers of Attorney before April 2017 may now be able to reclaim some of the fees paid from the Office of the Public Guardian.
The fees rebate is available for donors or attorneys who registered either an LPA or EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017
Refunds must be claimed by 31 January 2021, and the refund must be made to the donor him or herself.
The amount that can be claimed back depends on when the fee was paid, and how much:
April to September 2013 – £54
October 2013 to March 2014 – £34
April 2014 to March 2015 – £37
April 2015 to March 2016 – £38
April 2016 to March 2017 – £45
Interest at 0.5% will also be added to the amount repayable. Applications for the rebate can mostly be made online or by phone. But if the donor has died, the application by personal representatives must be made by email or post.

Refunds Helpline
Email: poarefunds@justice.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 456 0300 (choose option 6)
Textphone: 0115 934 2778
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 5pm
Wednesday 10am to 5pm


Marketing Calls

We have received some reports of unsolicited marketing calls relating to personal injury being received from Your Law Major. Please note we do not have any links with this organisation. We have neither acquired any mailing lists nor made any unsolicited calls, and would not do so.



Emails update

Please note that emails sent between 8/05/17 and 12/05/17 may have been delayed in transmission.  We apologise for any inconvenience which has been due to problems outside our control. If you have not received a response to an email sent during this period we would recommend checking with us it has been received.


Probate fee increase delayed due to lack of Parliamentary time

The Ministry of Justice has announced “The statutory instrument on probate fees will not have time to complete its passage through Parliament so it will be a matter for the new government” but would not comment on whether the plans would be abandoned long term.

News a hike in probate fees is to be ditched by the government was welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.Law Society president Robert Bourns said: “This proposal would have affected 42% of estates and would have put pressure on families when they have just suffered a bereavement, so we are glad it is no longer going forward.”

The proposal, which surfaced in the recent spring budget, would have hiked probate fees from a current flat fee of £215 (or £155 if done by a solicitor) to a sliding scale between £300 and £20,000 based on the value of the estate. The Law Society was among the 97% of respondents to the consultation who argued against the proposed increases, suggesting instead that a much more moderate and stepped increase was appropriate.


More help for first time home buyers going ahead

The Lifetime ISA, which can be used for first home OR retirement savings, is set to launch as planned on 6 April. For every £1 you save into the account, the Government will contribute another 25p and it’s all tax-free. The annual contribution limit is £4,000 which puts the maximum Government bonus available at £1,000 a year

Our firm is registered to claim for eligible purchasers the Help to Buy ISA, which launched in December 2015. This allows you to save up to £200 a month into the account (in addition to an opening £1,000) and earn interest tax-free. The Government will then top up your pot with a tax-free 25% bonus (maximum £3,000) when you complete on the purchase of your first home

For other savers in the Budget on 8 March 2017 it was announced that the long standing Cash and stocks and shares ISAs, will improve from this April as annual tax-free allowances rise to £20,000 from a current £15,240.

Meanwhile Help to Save, is still set to launch in April 2018 and will give lower-income savers who can stash away £50 a month, a tax-free bonus of up to £1,200

If you are thinking of purchasing your first home feel free to contact us for more information about the buying process and how we can help


Ministry of Justice set to increase Court fees for probate

Under the new Court fees estates valued between £50,000 and £300,000 would have to pay £300 but this escalates to £1,000 for estates valued between £300,000 and £500,000 and then £4,000 for those between £500,000 and £1m. Rising to £20,000 for the largest estates. This is a big increase from the current solicitor’s application fee rate of £155 for all estates. The fees don’t come in until the spring so if you would like help getting a grant of representation before they come in then please contact our experienced probate team as soon as possible.

This fee increase will strengthen the need for professional support for executors needing to obtain a grant of probate to ensure that the estate is accurately valued before submitting the application and to signpost sources of funding. These fees coupled with inheritance tax considerations also heighten the need for effective lifetime estate planning. For more information about obtaining probate or wills and lifetime planning please contact Robert Swinburne or David Major.


EU nationals in the UK – what does Brexit mean?

There will be no immediate change for EU migrants who are living and working in the United Kingdom or UK citizens who are living and working in other EU member states whilst the UK has not completed the formal process of leaving the EU.

For EU citizens currently living and working in the United Kingdom, a potential safeguard against any changes to arrangements would be for them to apply for confirmation of their status under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (eg, a residence card or family permit). It remains to be seen where the line will be drawn for EU migrants currently living in the United Kingdom, so the benefit of having a residence card would be that migrants could prove that they held rights of residence before free movement rights ceased.

Further, if an EU national has lived and worked in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of five years, they should consider applying for permanent residency. All EU nationals are required to hold permanent residency before naturalising as British citizens.

Call us to speak to an immigration lawyer if you are in need of further advice on 01483 455 771


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Registered office: 51 Quarry Street Guildford Surrey GU1 3UA
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