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    Do I need probate to access bank accounts?
    • #1
    • 5th Nov 11, 8:33 PM
    Do I need probate to access bank accounts? 5th Nov 11 at 8:33 PM
    Not sure if this is the correct place for this post, but here goes....

    My father recently died and I am executor of the estate. He had no property and no home contents really worth anything, so furniture etc has been given to the local charity shop. I was surprised to find that he had just over 12k in his current account (I suppose due to being ill and not spending money for some tim...)

    The bank (Natwest) said they could release up to 15k to me without a grant of probate. This has now been processed, and minus funeral costs, apx 9k was remaining on closure of the account (though I have not yet banked the cheque).

    I have subsequently come across (in untidy paperwork) two savings account one with apx 5k; the other with 2k. Re the 5k (in Santander) I wasn't asked about other monies or probate and they said they could release up to 25k to me. For the 2k (Nationwide) I have to complete a form, signed by a solicitor or commissioner for oaths (assume this is just to confirm I have authority to access funds??). The form suggests that under 15k probate is not required.

    I am confused about whether I should be applying for probate. Only Natwest mentioned probate. I did ask what would happen if there turned out to be additional funds in other banks, and they said that it was at the discretion of those banks concerned.

    Am I in any way bound to tell Natwest about additional funds as this represents a change to the estate? Also, I read that I should apply for probate if funds total more than 15k; elsewhere I have seen mention of 5k. But is this a guideline and banks etc have their own policies? Given that Santander will release up to 25k, I am particularly confused..

    Would welcome any advice. Many thanks
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