Banks to raise the limits on monetary release for probate purposes

UK banks have announced that they are to increase the amount of money they will release from a deceased customers’ account, for those dealing with probate following a loved one’s death.

Years of protest from consumer groups and the public appear to have paid off, as the bigger banks have now reviewed their current practices and announced the changes resulting in The Royal Bank of Scotland increasing its limit from £15,000 to £25,000 and Lloyds Bank from £25,000 to £50,000. HSBC has confirmed that it has removed its £20,000 limit, but will now asses each individual request on a case-by-case basis. Nationwide has also confirmed that it is currently reviewing its probate limits.

Families dealing with relatively small amounts of money will now be able to close the account of a deceased person without first having to obtain a Grant of Probate. The changes mean they should be able to sidestep the lengthy probate application process and simply present a Death Certificate in order to gain access to the account of the deceased. This is a much simpler process for anyone dealing with a person’s financial affairs in upsetting circumstances.

The expedient changes made should now make it easier for any individuals looking to finalise the financial affairs of their deceased family members and relatives who have passed away. Most banks have also recently made changes to their operations processes by providing effective training for their staff so they will be better equipped on how to deal with customers going through bereavement, thus improving the procedure of informing banks about a customer’s death.

Do you agree the changes made were necessary and will have a positive impact?

The finance website Money Mail recently launched a Looking After Your Legacy campaign and they are also in the process of developing a Tell Us Once service, with an aim to save families hours of time and work when they need to inform financial institutions about the death of a loved one. Are you aware of this campaign?

Please let us know your views on this matter by leaving a comment below.

Today's Wills and Probate