The Importance Of Regulatory Understanding
The majority of people using the Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Probate Application services are left feeling bewildered, confused and overwhelmed according to the recent report carried out by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).
The changes to the Probate application system were set to come into force on 27th November, whilst the fee changes will become active from March next year. The varied dates, deadlines and changes can leave many feeling confused and uninformed.
The report found that 558,000 people died in the UK between 2015 and 2016, the data and timeframe used to inform the report. Of the total deaths, over 250,000 IHT forms were completed, despite a mere 24,500 estates being liable to pay any IHT.
The majority of the 3,000 respondents were unclear on whether they needed to fill in a short or long IHT form. Executors were baffled by the connection to IHT and a grant of probate and whether they needed to fill in a report at all. Respondents also felt restricted by the lack of online mediums to fill or send the form.
38% of respondents that did not use an informed adviser spent more than 50 hours administering an estate. Additionally, 12% of executors spent more than 100 hours fulfilling the wishes of their loved ones. In part, this was attributed to the complex and changing nature of legislation in the sector.
Similarly, they understood that there was a twelve-month deadline on completing the IHT process, yet a six-month cut off for a grant of probate. Overall, this left consumers feeling anxious and unsure as to whether the process was completed successfully.
Whilst HMRC consider the report, it is thought that the OTS recommendations of an online system and more closely knitted deadlines will come into force and change the current regulation. As reforms and amendments are made to legislation that could confuse the client, it is important that Wills and Estate Administration professionals develop an expert understanding to ensure a smooth transition for clients.
The Institute’s evolving training courses and CPD programmes, delivered by the Willwriting Academy Limited, offer useful insights and a detailed understanding of all major changes. Using this expert service will ensure that you are up to date and ready to advise your clients appropriately.
When consumers are so sensitive to price, they want to know the value they will receive from using your services – becoming an IPW or ISPW member will highlight your unique expertise and niche understanding of regulatory change.