Probate is normally required when the total value of the deceased’s estate is over £5,000...
It isn’t always necessary to get a Grant of Probate (the form which gives an executor of a Will the legal authority to deal with the estate of a deceased).
The value of the estate is a key factor in determining whether a Grant of Probate is needed. It is normally required when the total value of the deceased’s estate is over £5,000.
Valuing an Estate
Determining the total value of the estate requires identifying all the assets, including property, possessions, bank and building society accounts and investments.
In terms of property, this will need to be valued professionally, ideally by an estate agent or valuer; and any savings, investments or other financial assets will require a valuation from the providers on the date of death.
Any debts, such as loans or mortgages, also need to be considered. Inheritance tax forms must be completed as well, regardless of whether any tax is owed.
When is Probate needed?
Even though the value of the estate generally has to be over £5,000 for Probate to be required, there are a number of reasons why an application for Probate might still be needed, including if:
The estate is valued over £5,000.
Any assets are in the deceased’s name only.
Any property was owned in a joint tenancy.
The Will is contested.
Probate won’t normally be necessary if the estate passes to a surviving spouse or civil partner, or if doesn’t contain any stocks, shares, land or property.
It’s worth remembering that Probate isn’t always straightforward and individual banks, financial institutions and insurance companies will normally have their own guidelines as to when they need to see a Grant of Probate.
It can be confusing
No matter what the size of the estate, it can be confusing and difficult to determine if Probate is actually required. In many cases, financial institutions that are holding assets can request to see a Letter of Administration / Grant of Probate, irrespective of the value of the estate.