Find out for sure if probate is necessary.
One of the first questions asked when it comes to dealing with the deceased’s finances is what I need to do to find out for sure if probate is necessary.
It is often thought that probate is not required if: 1) There is a Will – perhaps the assumption is that probate is used to deal with thing in this instance. 2) There is no Inheritance tax to pay because the estate’s value is below £325000. 3) The Will is not being disputed – everyone is in agreement on how the estate is to be dealt with/divided. and 4) The Will is simple – it leaves everything to a surviving spouse or to immediate family.
But none of these assumptions is correct. Whether probate is necessary or not is governed by what is in the deceased’s estate in their sole name and its value.
Here are the things you need to establish to find our for sure if probate is necessary.
Is there a property or a share of a property is in the decease’s sole name? If the answer is yes the for sure probate is required. It is the Land Registry that will insist on seeing a Grant of Probate or letters of Administration before any change of ownership can take place i.e. before a sale can be completed or a transfer of ownership by way of assent to a beneficiary (form AS1).
Is there is a large amount of cash or an investment in the sole name of the deceased with a financial institution such as a bank, building society, share portfolio, National Savings etc. then probate may be required before funds can be released. In practice, all financial institutions have thresholds – a notional amount place across their business.
These vary from institution to institution. If the amount invested is below the threshold then the institution will release the funds usually on production of the Will, death certificate and identification for the executors. If the investment is above the threshold then they will require probate before funds are released.
Here is a list of some of the thresholds for probate. The list is not meant to be exhaustive.
Barclays-50k ; Lloyds-50k
NS&I Premium bonds-5k Virgin-35k
Post Office-10k Tesco-25k
CoOp-30k Chelsea BS-30k
Yorkshire BS-30k Leeds BS-40k
West Bromwich BS-15k Halifax BS-50k
Hargreaves Lansdown-35k RBS-25k
To find out for sure if probate is necessary contact the institution holding the funds to ask what their threshold for probate and whether they want probate in order to release them.