The hidden costs of administering a death: From applying for probate to inheritance tax | Personal Finance | Finance

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As the cost-of-living crisis continues to ravage the finances of Britons up and down the country, many may have been too busy to consider another kind of cost altogether.

But there are of course fess associated with death as well as living, some of which may be obvious but many of which may not be.

Administering a deceased loved one’s estate can be a sensitive issue for families so a person may benefit from learning about some of the costs involved.

And a found organising the basic funeral now costs on average over £4,000 but there are other little-known costs people should plan ahead for.

These are some of the hidden costs associated with dying that you may need to plan for in case the worst should happen to one of your loved ones.

Death certificates

It is free to register a death but you do have to pay for copies of a death certificate, which may be needed for administering a person’s estate.

A copy of a death certificate immediately after a death costs £11 in England and Wales, £8 in Northern Ireland and £10 in Scotland. These costs can increase if more copies are needed later on.

Applying for probate

For estates worth over £5,000, when applying for probate there is an fee of £273. There is no fee for estates worth less than £5,000.

For a second application for probate, there is a £20 fee, which applies to an estate of any size.

This may be needed if a person is applying to be executor of an estate after holding ‘power reserved’ on the first application.

You can purchase extra copies of a probate document for £1.50 each, allowing you to send copies to different organisations all at once.

Inheritance tax

This 40 percent tax only applies to total assets being inherited that are worth over £325,000, or over £650,000 when inheriting an estate from a couple.

If a home that was a main residence of the deceased is being inherited by a direct descendant, there is an extra allowance of £175,000 for single person or £350,000 for couples.

Inheritance tax has to be paid by the end of the six-month period after the person’s death. There are several other reliefs and exemptions depending on how a person’s assets are arranged, and a reduced tax rate of 36 percent if a person leaves at least 10 percent of their assets to charity.

There have been reports Chancellor Jeremy Hunt could move to abolish inheritance tax. Jack Gill, managing director of Final Duties, said previously: “Inheritance tax is arguably no longer a tax on the wealthy and more and more of us face falling foul of it as our estates grow in value and become liable.

“This is largely due to the overstimulation of the property market in recent years which has pushed house prices to record highs. With property forming the majority of the average person’s estate, the increase in the value of their property is pushing them into inheritance tax territory.”

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