Banks are Revealed to have Sold Wills with Hidden Probate Costs

Couple writing a Will

Up to 1.5 million people may have bought a Will with unexpected probate charges from major banks. They could be charged in the tens of thousands for these banks organising even the simplest estates.

This money-making scheme was used by banks in the late nineties and early noughties. The details were tucked away in the terms and conditions, reserving banks the right to act as an Executor of their customers’ Wills. Professional Executors can reduce stress for families, as they would be responsible for selling property, sorting Inheritance Tax and organising the estate – but the fees should be fair.

However, the fees banks charged for this process were extortionate. They are now expected to receive billions, based on the average charge on estates of 1.5 million people. This is potentially the next PPI scandal.

If you’re worried about having hidden probate charges in your Will, we offer a free Will checking service to analyse your documents and put your mind at rest. Our professionals will provide expert advice free of charge. We also offer free consultations in your home and can make your Will say what you want it to with our Will Writing service.

Most people tend to have reasonably straightforward Wills and probate costs shouldn’t be excessive. But, sometimes they may be higher – for example, due to:

  • A large number of beneficiaries, especially if they are unrelated to you
  • Inheritance Tax issues
  • Complex portfolios
  • Disputes
  • Disinheritance

The Money Advice Service offers guidance on when to use a probate accountant or solicitor.

You can find out if you may be charged excessive probate fees with our Will checking service. If you’re still worried about probate costs, then a Probate Plan allows you to save money and pay for your probate in advance, so your family doesn’t have to when the time comes. Probate could be required for assets as low as £5,000 and dealing with them can be expensive. With a Probate Plan, you can help your family:

  • Avoid price increases or additional costs
  • Receive their inheritance without a large bill from a solicitor

Another way to save on probate fees is by creating a Family Protection Trust. Putting your house into Trust means it is no longer part of your estate and charges can be significantly reduced.

A Trust acts like a safety deposit box to keep your assets in. It can protect your family’s inheritance and may also prevent your home from being sold to pay for your future care home fees. It is important to consider making a Trust to safeguard you and your family’s financial future.

The experts at Severn Estate Planning can offer advice to help you make the right choice. Contact us if you want us to check your Will for hidden probate charges.