New Probate fees - corrective account?

Has there been any guidance yet on what should happen where:-

  1. following the application for a Grant, the PRs discover additional assets which would have pushed the estate into a higher fee bracket?

  2. or likewise where the PRs subsequently discover additional liabilities which would have pulled the estate into a lower fee bracket?

  3. or, in either case, probate valuations/estimates used prove to be inaccurate?

  4. or, even, loss on sale relief is claimed for IHT purposes in relation to shares/land?

  5. and, if there is an adjustment to be made, what will happen if assets/liabilities come to light several years later?

From what I have seen thus far, it is merely the figures used in the IHT205/400 which are considered and there is no mechanism for subsequent adjustment for the purposes of the Probate fee.

What, then, does this mean for those PRs who, in their keenness to obtain the Grant (for whatever reason), might not have taken as many steps towards ascertaining Probate values as they might have done had they been willing to spend a few more weeks in the initial stages of the administration before making the application? If additional investigations might have brought to light a large bank loan, who would be liable for the additional amount of Probate fee which will have been paid unnecessarily? Conversely, will HMCTS have any recourse against PRs who fail to uncover an additional asset before applying for a Grant?

On the basis that no ‘corrective’ application can be made, it seems to me that refusing to make reasonable investigations ahead of applying for a Grant could be viewed as fraud against the HMCTS, which should perhaps be taken as seriously as fraud against HMRC.

Have other contributors heard anything about or had thoughts on these issues? Or have I missed some part of the guidance?

Paul Davidoff
Moon Beever