GUIDE

When is probate required?

The term ‘probate’ often refers to the legal process and administrative procedure that happens after someone passes away in order to conclude their affairs and pass their assets onto their beneficiaries. A grant of probate is the legal document that is issued by the Probate Registry that gives the executor or administrator of an estate the entitlement to deal with the affairs of the deceased and allows them to make all arrangements to finalise the estate.

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

Your guide to Probate

Part 1

Do you always need a grant of probate if someone dies?

It is not always necessary to obtain a grant of probate. It depends on whether the person who died owned assets in their sole name that require a grant of probate. We will list below the assets that you will probably need a grant of probate to deal with:

  • A property owned in the sole name of the person who has died or owned with another person as ‘tenants in common’.
  • Bank accounts or savings accounts worth over £5000
  • Stocks or shares worth over £5000
  • Life assurance policies
  • Private pensions

It is always worthwhile giving each company or institution a call to check and see whether or not they will require a grant of probate to release the assets.

Do you always need a grant of probate if someone dies?

Part 2

How much money can you leave in accounts before probate is required?

The probate threshold for banks and building societies in England and Wales can be anywhere between £5,000 and £50,000. Each institution has their own rules and limits.

We have compiled a list of probate thresholds from the most popular financial organisations below:

  • Aviva - £50,000
  • AXA - £10,000
  • Bank of Ireland - £10,000
  • Bank of Scotland - £50,000
  • Barclays - £50,000
  • Birmingham Midshires - £25,000
  • Britannia - £30,000
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester - £25,000
  • Co-op Bank - £30,000
  • First Direct - Decided on a case-by-case basis. (If beneficiaries are children: £30,000. If beneficiaries is a spouse: £50,000. Might be lower for others, in which case you have to contact First Direct.)
  • Halifax - £50,000
  • HSBC - £30,000
  • Lloyds TSB - £50,000
  • M&S Money - £15,000
  • Nationwide - £50,000
  • Natwest - £25,000
  • NS&I - £5,000 to £15,000 depending on whether there is a will or not
  • Post Office - £10,000
  • Royal Bank of Scotland - £25,000
  • Sainsbury's Bank - £20,000
  • Santander - £50,000
  • Skipton Building Society £15,000
  • Tesco Bank - £25,000
  • TSB £25,000
  • Virgin Money £35,000
  • Woolwich - £15,000
  • Yorkshire Building Society - £30,000
How much money can you leave in accounts before probate is required?

Part 3

Do I have to pay Inheritance Tax if I get a grant of probate?

Inheritance tax will only be due on an estate that exceeds the limit for an excepted estate and does not pass outright to spouse or charity. If the total assets of the deceased amount to less than the excepted estate limit (currently £325,000) then there will be no inheritance tax to pay, even if you need to get a grant of probate.

Do I have to pay Inheritance Tax if I get a grant of probate?

Part 4

What is the best way to find out if probate is required?

The first thing you should do is make a list of all the assets the deceased owned and then contact the institutions where these assets are held to establish the exact value at the date of death of the deceased and whether the institution will require probate.

In the case of a property, ask an estate agent or a surveyor to come and provide what is known as a ‘probate valuation’. You can also look on websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla to get an idea of property values in the same road or area.

What is the best way to find out if probate is required?

Part 5

How can Kwil help you?

By giving our friendly team a call on 0800 061 4934 we will be able to advise you on the process you need to follow and whether or not you will need to get a grant of probate.

How can Kwil help you?

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