Life - Articles - A Life Policy in Trust is possible solution to probate fees

Commenting on the Government's decision not to introduce new probate fees, Johnny Timpson from Scottish Widows, comments:

 “This is very welcome news.As I’ve said before, many executors would have struggled to pay the higher fees, particularly in cases where estates are asset rich but cash poor, and even fairly simple estates with only a family home as the main asset could have seen a sharp rise in the probate fee.

 “Furthermore, executors who are unable to access funds until grant of probate could also have been faced with further administrative hurdles at a time which is already very difficult.

 “I do suspect, however, that we’ll see some sort of probate fee reform resurface after the election, so it’s still worth considering ways to avoid the issues this could bring.

 “A possible solution is to write a life policy in trust, which means that it will fall outside of the estate and can be accessed immediately without any need for probate. And the policyholder can appoint anyone they wish as beneficiary of the trust, so it produces the result they want without a will being involved.

 “It’s also important to highlight the emergency claims payment process that many providers, including Scottish Widows, have in place to aid bereaved families in hardship, and which pays a proportion of the death claim quickly so that funeral costs can be paid in advance of probate.” 

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