Probate - Best banks and building societies

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by keithn, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. keithn

    keithn Registered User

    Jul 4, 2014
    My Mother recently passed away after suffering from dementia for the passed 10 years and I have had to deal with probate as she did not leave a will.

    The main topic of my post are the best banks and building societies to have savings in when being in this situation. I think it would be helpful to others if the society had some input as to other people in this situation and maybe even to go as far as to list a league table.

    Well... Here is my experience. I had to deal with two banks, the Halifax and Barclays.

    The Halifax was straightforward, their limit for accessing funds without probate is £50,000, so I had to prove I was with a recent bill in my name and some identity (passport/driving licence), birth certificate showing my relationship and a death certificate.

    Barclays have a limit for accessing funds without probate of £30,000. My mothers account was just in excess of this. So.... I thought I would pay for the funeral and reduce the amount to bellow the Barclays £30,000 limit only for Barclays to inform me that the limit was at the time of death.

    I am quite capable of completing the probate but thought I would get a figure from a Solicitor as completing it myself was just adding to a very stressful time. The minimum figure I was quoted was £700. I am now in the process of completing myself and paying the£217 fee.

    The message I have here is that it is quite important who you bank with and I hope this will help others who find themselves in my situation. I was able to access up to £50,000 from the Halifax without any problems but cannot access £27,000 from Barclays without paying a minimum £217, filling out two forms, waiting for probate and swearing in front of a notary when I receive the probate back and then presenting the probate document to Barclays

    If anybody else has bank/ building society probate rates and experiences please share them so others can make decisions on where other dementia suffered should save their money and can the Society maybe start a league table.
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    How would the situation have been changed if there had been a will?
  3. keithn

    keithn Registered User

    Jul 4, 2014
    #3 keithn, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
    Your correct, it would not change. My point was some banks/building societies are better than others to save with in these situations and I thought this type of info might be helpful to others.
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    #4 nitram, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
    I had to apply for probate because of the size of the assets involved but when I informed Nationwide of the death they said I did not need probate because the balance was below a certain amount which I have forgotten.

    They filled in a statutory declaration and told me to go next door and sign in in front of a solicitor. I read it through and what it actually said was the balance with Nationwide was below £x and then in the small print that my wife's total assets were also below the same amount. I said I would not sign it, they got annoyed and said the small print did not matter, they had spent some time faffing around to produce the statutory declaration, I did not sign and waited for probate.

    So check what any institutions are actually saying to you.

    If anybody is wondering why I approached NW in the first place it was to obtain details of both interest accrued and credited, and interest accrued but not credited at date of death.
    They were able to give me these figures unlike a well known bank who refused, in the end it cost them two cases of wine before they saw sense!!
  5. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Banks etc. vary in how they deal with probate as with everything else. If it concerns you, I would ask your current financial institutions what their policy is, but there are many reasons both financial and others why people choose one bank over another and you need to weigh it all up if you want to change.
  6. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    I haven't been through it but it is interesting to hear about the banks having different limits for requiring probate. I would be interested to know if anyone has experience with Lloyds or NS&i.
  7. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    Dealing with my mum's accounts the week after her death:

    Lloyds saw me straight away, in a private room, without an appointment. Brilliant.

    Skipton saw me straight away, not in a private room (although I apparently could have requested one), without an appointment.

    Nationwide apologised that the branch was understaffed that day and were very apologetic - could I come back tomorrow? Private room provided.

    Halifax said I had to make an appointment and the only one available was a week and a half later. Poor show.

    Barclays were a nightmare when I had to deal with Dad's finances. The local branch clearly didn't have a clue, but that was ten years ago - things may have improved :)

    I suspect it all depends on the branch.
  8. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    Thanks Chemmy. I have found Mum's local Lloyds were very good when I took over PoA and they all knew Mum, which somehow helps.

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