Following sustained and increasingly vocal lobbying from customers and consumer groups, a number of leading UK banks have increased the amount of money that can be released from deceased customer accounts to their grieving families without first having to apply for probate, This Is Money reports.
The report states that families dealing with a relatively small amount of money will be able to close the account of the deceased without first obtaining the grant of probate, meaning they are able to bypass the sometimes lengthy probate application process. Instead, they will simply need to present the death certificate in order to gain access to the account of the deceased.
Each bank tends to have its own specified limit on how much money can be released without a grant of probate, often ranging from £15,000 to £20,000. As part of the review, some banks have increased these limits further. The Royal Bank of Scotland has increased its limit from £15,000 to £25,000 and Lloyds Bank has raised its limit from £25,000 to £50,000. HSBC, on the other hand, has revealed that it has removed its £20,000 limit and will now asses each request on a case-by-case basis.
All these changes should make it easier for those looking to finalise the monetary affairs of a loved one who has passed away. A number of banks have recently made changes to their operations by training staff better on how to deal with customers in such emotional situations, and improving the process of informing banks about a customer death.
However, dealing with bank accounts and other monetary assets should not be considered a straightforward process. This is why Kings Court Trust manages all third party relationships on behalf of its customers to ensure that they do not have to deal with the stress and burden of it themselves.
What are your opinions on the changes? Would this give you the confidence to deal with the estate of a loved one without professional advice?