Obtaining a Grant of Probate is needed in most cases where the total value of the deceased’s estate is deemed small...
Going through the process of probate is often required to deal with a person’s estate after they’ve passed away. Obtaining a Grant of Probate gives legal authority to the Executor, who will be responsible for administering the person’s estate, including property and money, if they left a will.
Obtaining a Grant of Probate is needed in most cases where the total value of the deceased’s estate is deemed small.
What is a “small estate”?
A small estate is where the total value of the assets is under £5,000. In these cases, probate is generally not required. However, institutions like banks and insurance companies will often have their own specific stipulations. So, although the total value of assets may fall under the threshold, you may still need to get a Grant of Probate.
Where probate may still apply
Investment providers and banks have varying policies when it comes to deciding whether you need to obtain a Grant of Probate. It may depend on where the assets are being held.
Even without a Grant, some banks will release funds up to £50,000. If any account savings fall below this threshold, and they are the only assets in the estate, then probate will potentially be avoidable.
When any shares that are held in the deceased’s name fall below a certain level, often £10,000, many registrars will allow them to be sold without a Grant, as part of their “Small Estates Procedure.” Other investment companies have similar procedures, though when determining whether a Grant of Probate is necessary, they will normally take into account the value of the estate as a whole.
There are a few other circumstances in which Probate is not required:
Assets passed by “survivorship” – which is when a person’s assets are held jointly with another person. When one of them dies, the other automatically receives the assets without needing a Grant to transfer assets, or sell property etc.
It is also possible to avoid probate by using Trusts. Placing assets into a Trust ensures that they’re then controlled by trustees and placed outside the estate. This allows the assets to be utilised whilst mitigating the need for Probate. Examples often include, smaller properties or insurance policies, that can be placed into Trusts – and then paid directly to a beneficiary.
Help with getting probate
If you’re looking for help with probate, then Get Probate can help you.