How Much Does It Cost To Obtain A Death Certificate?
Posted on 2nd April 2020
Losing a loved one is never easy and brings with it a wide range of tasks, duties and legal requirements that need to be carried out in a timely manner. Identifying and informing utility providers, financial institutions and various services can be an unpleasant thing to do, particularly as it is better done quickly to prevent unnecessary payments being made or missed. MG Legal, your Wills and Probate Solicitors in Longridge, appreciate this and we will try to assist where we can.
How much have Death Certificates increased by?
Prices have increased by roughly 30%, from £4.00 to £11.00 per copy. At a time when you have lost a loved one, this £7.00 increase might not look like much, however, when you consider that each organisation you contact might insist on having their own certified copy of the Death Certificate, multiplied by the number of utility providers, banks, insurance companies and services your loved one had, it is not unusual for the number of copies needed to hit double figures, so your total cost if obtained from the local Registrar could be into the hundreds of pounds.
Why is this fee so high?
We don’t know; the official Government statement mentions fees remaining the same for a decade, however, inflation has not tripled since 2010 and so this makes no sense. Once the first copy has been produced, given the Certificate is simply printed out, there appears no justification for the additional fees for copies, which would be more fairly charged at a few pounds to cover printer paper, ink and the nominal amount of time taken to print them. Coupled with the increase in Probate Court fees, this increase is, we believe, cynical and simply a way of increasing revenue from a service you are legally required to use.
Is there a way to minimise the cost?
Yes, quite often many banks are happy for you to attend in person, show the original certificate and then make a copy on premises. Many other organisations will, if the certificate is posted to them, return the original, although entrusting a vital document to the post can be a nerve-wracking process. and can take days at a time to reach, be processed and returned, before it can be sent to the next organisation. It is more and more common these days for people to have a number of accounts and policies with many different organisations and so, using just a couple of copies and recycling them can be a long-winded process.
If MG Legal, your Probate Solicitors in Longridge, are dealing with the matter, we may also be able to provide a Solicitor’s Death Certificate Verification Form which can be provided as part of the Probate process. We can assure you that this will not be as costly as obtaining copies at £11.00 each.
Other unavoidable fees
As mentioned above, it is necessary to Apply for either a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, depending on whether a Will was left, if the Executors are still able to fulfil their duties and also whether the deceased has an estate or if they have little by way of funds and assets.
As well as this there is Inheritance Tax to consider and waiting in the wings, a potential change to Probate Court Fees which would adopt a sliding scale. Unfortunately, the fees proposed are for a fee of 0.5% of any estate, meaning that if the deceased’s estate is valued at more than £4,300.00, the fee will be more than it currently would be.
The above, of course, assumes that all family and friends are in agreement with the Will, if there is one and that the Will is clear in describing Testator’s intentions.
How can we make it easier?
MG Legal, your Probate Solicitors in Longridge, can provide a full service from making a Will, to dealing with the Probate and so far as we are able, taking the strain of the loved ones who have lost their family member.
We offer very reasonable fixed price Wills starting at £110.00, Powers of Attorney starting at £250.00 and we are also experienced at dealing with Probate matters, offering a level of support that you require, tailored to individual circumstances. Where one of our Solicitors is named an Executor, we will do our very best to involve any beneficiaries in decisions such as setting and agreeing prices for sale of houses whilst ensuring we follow both the Will and the Law to the letter.
How to instruct MG Legal?
Simply get in touch with our offices and ask to speak to our Wills and Probate team (also known as our Private Client team) and our friendly, professional people will do their best to assist you. From making a Will or dealing with a complex Probate matter, we will do our best to offer the best rates, on a fixed fee basis whenever possible, whilst ensuring that matters are sorted out and concluded as swiftly as possible.
Call, email, send a call-back request via our website or see us at one of our offices in Longridge, Garstang or Lancaster and we will see to your requirements swiftly and professionally.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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