The UK’s Trusted Probate Specialists
If you are handling the estate of a relative or family friend, a frequestly asked question is how much money is required before probate will be required ?
Lets start with what probate means. Probate is simply the legal term given to the process that is followed after someone has died. Typically, it is undertaken by the Executor in a will. If there is no will, then probate will be undertaken by the next of kin in accordance with the intestacy rules that set out an order of entitlement as to who can apply as welll as inherit under a deceased persons estate.
The executor will apply to the probate court for a legal document known as a grant of probate. It is this document that is required by the executor to administer an estate. But is probate always required ? and what are the legal limits ?
Probate will definately be required in the following circumstances :-
- if the deceased owned a property
- if the estate involves the payment of inheritance tax
- if a claim is being made on behalf of an estate
- if a bank or building society has requested probate to release monies
- if an insurance company or pension provider requests probate
By contrast, you would not need probate for :-
- jointly held assets in a bnak account
- if a property was woned jointly as joint tenants
- if the deceased had a very small balance in his account
Thresholds by Banks for the release of Monies
Confusion arises as to when probate is required because alot of the banks have differing limits as to when they require probate. For example, the main banks probate limits all differ. If the bank asks for probate then you will need to obtain it. The probate limits of the main highstreet banks, are as follows :-
- Barclays £50,000
- National Savings and Investments (NSI) £5,000
- Santander £50,000
- Nationwide £50,000
- HSBC £20,000 ( although subject to review)
- Halifax £50,000
- Lloyds £50,000
- First Direct £20,000
- Tesco Bank £50,000
- Post Office £30,000
- Skipton Building Society £30,000
Dealing with Deceased persons shares
Equniti have a small estates limit of £20,000 by which they will allow shares to be transferred wihout probate whilst computershare have a similar limit too. To transfer the shares the registrars require the completion of a small estates form that must be accompanied by :-
- an official copy of the death certificate
- completed small estates declaration and indemnity
- a cheque for the relevant small estates declaration and indemnity fee
If probate is not required
If the sum held by the deceased is under the threshold and held with one of the banks listed above, then the bank will typically require a small estates indemnity form. This allows for the funds to released but subject to the administrator or executor confirming in writing that the funds will be distributed in accordance with the will or intestacy rules. An example, of a small estates form, can be seen by clicking here, this form is Equnitis who are a share registrar and have a limit of £10,000 when probate will be required.
Need probate and require help ?
We offer a fixed fee probate service with all costs deferred until the conclusion of the case. Call us now on 01482 429985 or via email at email@example.com