Q&A - Is there a threshold for Probate?

Q: My brother and I are executors of our father’s Will. Dad is currently in a care home and sadly we are probably going to lose him before the summer. The costs for the home have eaten into his assets and there is very little money left. We are wondering therefore whether we will need to apply for probate when he dies. Is there a threshold for Probate?

A: Generally speaking if a deceased person’s assets are less than £15,000, applying for Probate is not necessary. However it is difficult to state an exact threshold figure as each financial institution sets its own limit that determines whether or not Probate is required. This can vary between £5,000 and £75,000.

In addition to this, each institution also applies its own interpretation of what makes up the deceased’s ‘estate’. Some define it as the amount held in the deceased’s account whilst others include absolutely everything that the deceased owned. So you would need to check what the views and limits are of the financial institution or institutions that hold your father’s money.

Even if your father’s estate is below the Probate threshold, you should be aware that the financial institution holding his money can still request that you apply for a Grant of Probate. A Grant of Probate confirms that you have the legal authority to deal with your father’s assets after he dies. That said, it is unlikely that this would be the case if your father’s estate totals less than £5,000.

Dealing with the estate of someone who has died can be daunting, particularly when you are also dealing at the same time with the grief of losing a loved one. It may therefore help, when the time comes, to seek advice from a local solicitor.

Article Febuary 2019

Michael Keeling

Michael Keeling

Partner

Partner and Head of our Property and Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Chirk and Llangollen

Victoria Wilson

Victoria Wilson

Partner

A Partner and Head of our Probate, Wills, Trusts and Tax team