The 2018 Budget made an announcement regarding Inheritance Tax with commentators stating that plans to simplify the inheritance tax rules could be just around the corner.
However the well-publicised changes to Probate fees relate to England and Wales only, not Scotland.
“Confirmation” in Scotland, or “Probate” in England and Wales, is the process by which the validity of the deceased's will is proved and the executors' legal authority to uplift and distribute the deceased's assets is confirmed by the courts.
What does this cost?
Scotland: To obtain the Grant of Confirmation, in addition to any solicitors' fee, there is an application fee payable to the Sheriff Court. These fees are based on the size of the estate, and these are currently:-
England and Wales: There are currently only three fee levels:-
The Government has, however, proposed increasing these fees in England and Wales to:
These fees are meant to reflect the administrative work involved in reviewing, processing and issuing the Probate Grants, however, many have criticised the proposed increases as being totally disproportionate to the administrative work involved and therefore more realistically represent a stealth tax.
As stated these changes only relate to Probate in England and Wales, and not Scotland.