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Bank of Mum and Dad – Possible Probate Implications

daughter sitting between her mum and dad

Owing to the state of the economy and the nature of our housing market, loans and gifts from parents to children are becoming increasingly common. Although the temptation is to be completely informal in making these arrangements, it might be worth considering how they should be recorded and documented. HMRC look closely at estates where inheritance tax is significant. Executors will appreciate a clear record of relevant loans and gifts and the terms on which they were made.

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Hike in Probate Fees April 2019

close up gavel

April – otherwise known as the start of a new financial year and much of this year has seen the House of Commons preoccupied with addressing endless issues that already surround Brexit, a time which will see probate fees surge sooner rather than later according to many lawyers.

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The Destruction of the Probate Service?

last will

This rather provocative headline was on top of a recently issued press release from the Public and Commercial Services Union. Their staff are worried about major changes ahead in the probate service. It seems that the Justice Department have in mind replacing local probate offices which can actually deal with enquiries from the public and others with regional call centres which will endeavour to provide the answers. They are known as Courts and Tribunals Service Centres or CTSCs. I do not know whether there will be one near you but, presumably, the actual location does not matter to the architects of this plan.

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IT Change at the Probate Service

computer sign in screen

The probate service is not used to such publicity! As well as the fiasco over the proposed fee increase Probate Registries across the country are, I understand, transferring to a new computer system to enable them to monitor and process applications, and to cope with the recently introduced digital online applications. There is likely to be a delay in dealing with probate applications while the new process beds down. Adding to the pressure is the surge in applications resulting from executors and administrators (and their professional advisers) trying to beat the fee increase. As I pointed out in a previous blog that fee increase, in any event, will not now take place on 1st April.

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Irish Passports and Irish Probates

derry northern ireland

I have not been that surprised by the number of clients, friends and other contacts who have been trying to get themselves Irish passports. It is a practical action in this Brexit saga where nothing seems to make sense. A rumour spread throughout our family that a grandfather, who died long before the birth of me and my siblings, had come from Ireland but research concluded that, in fact, he came from Norfolk! Of course, it is not uncommon for an English estate to have an Irish element. The executors or administrators will need an Irish grant when a substantial Irish asset forms part of the estate – for example, a bank account containing more than 25,000 Euros. An Irish grant will also be needed when there is land or property or shares in Irish registered companies. In all but the most straightforward of cases, an Irish solicitor will need to be appointed to obtain the necessary grant.

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