Helping Mum with Dad's will - possible probate? plus where is it all recorded?

Good evening everyone,
After the recent sudden death of my father I have been helping my mother with sorting out affairs.  Thankfully my parents have very simple mirror wills which leaves everything to each other.  The house has no mortgage and is jointly owned.  There are various bank accounts, some joint and some solely owned, plus an annuity, a private pension and a large holding of premium bonds.  We are attempting to sort the will out ourselves rather than use a solicitor.

We have begun the task of contacting various banks and financial institutions to inform them of my Dad's death.  To date, none of them has asked for probate.  There is some suggestion that NS&I will require a grant of probate to release the premium bonds, however we have opted to leave them in the draw for the next 12 months so are not getting them cashed in yet.

My question, as we muddle through the process with no Grant of Probate being sought at the moment, is how / where all the actions and money transfers should be logged by us? Is there meant to be a formal record submitted by us detailing what has been done and how much money has been released from each account and where it's gone?   Thankfully it's all theoretically straightforward as there is no division of funds and it all goes to mum, but it all just feels a bit like we're doing it 'off the record'.  I have looked at various online guides but I am struggling to understand if there is an official record of how a will is carried out without a Grant of Probate.

Additionally, if in the future, NS&I do insist on a Grant of Probate, does this application also need to include all the other accounts which have not required a G.o.P. and which may well be sorted out by that point?

I have got mum to open a brand new bank account so any funds can be transferred directly into that, so we can evidence exactly where things have gone with statements if required.

Many thanks for any help - this is a steep learning curve for me!

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Replies

  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    As everything is going to your mother and none of your fathers nil rate band is being used up you don’t really need to evidence anything as his entire estate is covered bu spousal exemption. 

    You actually have to claim the premium bonds now not simply wait 12 months (the claim form has a tick box for leaving in the draw for 12 months) so you should not have to wait too long to see if probate is require. It is at there discretion to ask for it, and I suspect they won’t want it with the beneficiary being a spouse.

    https://www.nsandi.com/files/asset/pdf/death-claims-form.pdf

  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    Yes it can feel a bit "off the record"  - when I got probate for my mother I was sole exec and beneficiary and remember thinking "is that it?" - is no-one going to check what I am doing?? 

    It is a very good idea to keep records but  no-one is actually going to ask to see them, particularly with everything going straight to your mother  


  • Martin_the_UnjustMartin_the_Unjust Forumite
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    I think there is some requirement to keep a simple record and to retain them for a considerable period of time.



  • thegreenonethegreenone Forumite
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    I was wondering how you can keep the PBs and looked at the form linked above.

    "We will hold on to any outstanding prizes and pay them when we release the savings. If you keep the Bonds in the draw after that, we'll pay any prizes to the person entitled to them."

    Is it saying a beneficiary could hold £100,000 of PBs?  Or am I reading it wrong?

    Sorry to hijack the thread Misswol.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    I was wondering how you can keep the PBs and looked at the form linked above.

    "We will hold on to any outstanding prizes and pay them when we release the savings. If you keep the Bonds in the draw after that, we'll pay any prizes to the person entitled to them."

    Is it saying a beneficiary could hold £100,000 of PBs?  Or am I reading it wrong?

    Sorry to hijack the thread Misswol.
    No, the beneficiary never inherits the PBs they are part of the estate for the 12 months they remain in the draw.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    No there is no requirement to do so, but it is a good idea to keep estate records as it could help with the administration of the widows estate when the time comes.
  • MisswolMisswol Forumite
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    Thank you all for your responses.

    You have hit the nail on the head flugelhorn - it just feels so odd that no one appears to check what is being done!

    We have found out today that NS&I are insisting on probate even though everything has been left to mum and she is the executor.   Such a pain. 
    Off I go to start researching how to apply for Grant of Probate.....
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    Misswol said:
    Thank you all for your responses.

    You have hit the nail on the head flugelhorn - it just feels so odd that no one appears to check what is being done!

    We have found out today that NS&I are insisting on probate even though everything has been left to mum and she is the executor.   Such a pain. 
    Off I go to start researching how to apply for Grant of Probate.....
    You will need to fill on form PA1 either on long or paper which is fairly straight forward.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-pa1p-apply-for-probate-the-deceased-had-a-will

    and IHT 205 which for simple estates will again be straight forward.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inheritance-tax-return-of-estate-information-iht205-2011

    You will get plenty of help here if you get stuck on anything.


  • Jim80Jim80 Forumite
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    Misswol said:

    You have hit the nail on the head flugelhorn - it just feels so odd that no one appears to check what is being done!


    Same here, spent ages writing down all the details. Unless it goes over a certain amount, the only value put anywhere was 1 number at the end of it all.
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    Even if not applying for a grant you should still do an "inventory and account".

    Fairly straightforward record of assets and where everything went. Expenses and distribution.

    Also worth going through the IHT forms to have records should any transferable nil rate band be needed on second death.
    (Main item is a record of gifts)

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