Recent press comments

Which? Calls for fairer probate fees

Banks' charges appear disproportionate

Banks are demanding high fees for executing Wills and Which? believes charges bear little relation to the work involved in winding up an estate.

The banks charge a percentage of the estate, rather than a flat fee. For Barclays this starts at 4.5%, for Lloyds and RBS 4% and for HSBC 1.5%. Even a modest estate of £250,000 could set you back £10,000 at Lloyds. For a £350,000 estate, it would cost £14,000 at Lloyds, £13,250 at Barclays, £12,000 at Natwest / RBS and £5,250 at HSBC, the cheapest.

Which? News

Beneficiaries face fees of up to 4.5 per cent on an estate's value

Major high street banks and solicitor firms are among companies charging exorbitant fees for acting as Executors on customers' Wills, an investigation has revealed. People taking up offers of free or discounted will-writing services have been warned their beneficiaries could end up paying 'obscene' fees.

The Independent

How can I prevent solicitors charging excessive fees for obtaining Probate?

The one sentence version: By not making solicitors executors of your Will.

The Law Society's complaints box - and the columns of family finance pages in the national newspapers - is full of letters from disgruntled families who feel they have been ripped off by solicitors acting as executors. In addition, it is virtually impossible to get rid of a firm of solicitors who are executors once they have been appointed. Few legal firms will bring an action against another.

Citywire

Big banks exploit bereaved

High-street banks are exploiting bereaved families by charging thousands of pounds over the odds to manage customers' estates.

The big banks are aggressively pushing their will-writing services, but if you appoint a bank as the executor of your Will, your family could face exorbitant fees after your death.

The Sunday Times

The £600m RIP-off

Banks and solicitors are overcharging consumers small fortunes for sorting out Wills and small estates.

Just because you're dead does not stop banks and lawyers making a fortune from you. Each year Britain's high street banks and solicitors pick up a massive £1.25 bn in fees for sorting out Wills. Between them, they have 88% of the market for dealing with that last testament ...but around half of that £1.25bn is "blatant overcharging".

It's a £600m a year rip-off, where banks and solicitors are charging large fortunes to sort out small estates. It's worse because they prey on grief-stricken families who are not in a mood to argue.

The Guardian

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