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Make Probate your Business

probate and business
Probate Conventions

Probate law for many of us is often associated with claims against personal estates, issues surrounding inheritance tax or perhaps even drafting our own will. But when it comes to our business or businesses, probate law can often be overlooked and in some cases may seem irrelevant to us as business directors.

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Essential Will Writing Tips

Writing A Will

Whilst death is a bit of a taboo subject, it is important that our intentions are expressed clearly when writing our will and thinking about leaving our estate to our loved ones. If you thought writing a will only apply to you if you are 65+ and well into your retirement, then think again. The truth is, there is no right age to think about broaching this subject. So if in doubt, remember that if you own anything of value and want to ensure your family are protected, then take a will out.

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Pensions and Inheritance Tax

Money Saved

Lump sum payment coming out of pension schemes are not usually included in a deceased person’s estate and so escape inheritance tax. But that is not always the case. Each individual pension arrangement needs to be examined carefully. For example, a lump sum payment out of the NHS pension scheme which was not paid to a spouse or civil partner will usually form part of the estate and thus be liable to inheritance tax. If the estate you are dealing with, as an executor or administrator, contains unusual pension arrangements then do not hesitate to contact us either for advice or we can deal with the administration for you.

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The Co-op Probate Service

Limited Probate Service

The Co-op is by far the biggest probate provider in the country, and it seems they may have made a few changes recently in their offering as we are having more callers wanting us to act for them as executors or administrators in simply obtaining a grant of representation. This is our limited service as opposed to full administration. The Co-op, it seems, are no longer willing to assist executors and administrators with this limited service and are concentrating purely on full administration which, of course, carries much higher fees.

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The Great Probate Delay

Probate Queue

A colleague recently went to our local probate registry and found that there were over 4,000 applications pending. As you have probably seen in the press the delay has been caused by a combination of factors – the rush to beat the fee increase which, in the end, never took place; the introduction of a new computer system in the probate registries; and the impact on staff morale and efficiency of the proposals to close probate registries and transfer operations to a call centre. The longer the delay lasts the more adverse the impact on executors and beneficiaries who can make no progress in winding up the affairs of their friend or family member. In some cases, real financial hardship could result. The one consequence of the Brexit paralysis has been the increase in examples of straightforward incompetence in public administration. It seems that the probate fiasco is emblematic.

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