How long does it take for banks to release money after someone dies?

11th FEBRUARY 2021

The amount of time it takes for a bank to release someone’s funds after their death will vary depending on whether probate is required, but generally banks will release the money within 10-15 working days of receiving the correct documentation.

For free initial advice call our probate advisors or request a callback and we will contact you.

The first thing you need to do after someone dies is to register the death and obtain a death certificate, then notify the government using their ‘Tell Us Once’ service, which allows you to notify multiple government organisations in one go. You should also notify any financial organisations of the death so that they can freeze the accounts and ensure no further payments are made through direct debits.

Once you have the death certificate, you need to figure out whether probate is required. Different banks have different thresholds for how much money they can release without needing to see a grant of probate. This can range from £5,000-£50,000, so it’s important that you contact the organisations to work this out. If your loved one’s remaining assets do not outvalue these thresholds, you can request the funds be released without a grant of probate. Each bank will require different documents such as the will, personal identification, and a death certificate, so it is worth contacting the different institutions to work out exactly what you need to send.

If a bank does require a grant of probate before it can release your loved one’s funds, you will need to handle the application process on your own or hire a professional to do so for you. When you have acquired the grant of probate, you should send it to the bank alongside any other documents that are required. If you send the wrong documentation, you might find that there are delays with this process, so you should ensure that you get it right first time.

Once the bank has the required paperwork, whether this includes a grant of probate or not, they should be able to release the funds that they are holding within 10-15 working days. To speed up the process of receiving the funds, you can organise a direct transfer to an account with the same bank.

For free initial advice call our probate advisors or request a callback and we will contact you.