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What Happens if I Don't Have Original Will (as Executor) When Dealing with Banks?

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
411
I'm waiting for probate to be granted for my mum's estate. I held deputyship for her, and I'm also her named executor. It's simply a case of closing down and transferring bank accounts, and similar with a building society. There's only me and my sister due to inherit. The estate is very straightforward, so I was able to do the probate process online. I'd already submitted the death certificate to the financial institutions involved, so the accounts were frozen.

In order to get probate I had to submit the original will which I knew would be kept as a public record, so I wouldn't get it back. I thought it would be straightforward to deal with the bank accounts by showing the original Grant of Representation, which will be in my name, and my ID. I wanted to get probate sorted out so I could do my job as executor and distribute the estate. However, I'm now seeing (online) that (many) banks require sight of the original, or a certified copy, of a will if it exists, in order to close accounts and transfer money. The bank which holds three of my mum's accounts is one of these. This is alongside having sight of the probate grant. If I'd known that banks ask to see the original will, as well as probate documentation, in order to further process the transfer of accounts I'd have asked my mum's solicitor for a couple of certified copies when I picked up the will.

Can anyone advise me how closing down and transferring accounts works without the original will? Can they do it? They can hardly hold onto the money. On a purely emotional level, the idea that banks/financial institutions should demand sight of my mum's will, when those legally entitled to see a will are limited to the drafter(s) of it and the executor(s), just gets my back up; it seems intrusive. Surely if a government department has granted probate that should be enough to enable the banks, etc to accept the person who has probate has authority?
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,428
North West
Its always best to get certified copies as executor as well as copies of the death certificate. Neither of which you should release to anyone other than the banks etc until all matters are settled.

Was the original Will released to you or a certified copy (they usually have the solicitors seal on both documents original and copy). I would contact the solicitors and ask if further certified copies are possible.

If it was the original Will then you'll have to wait until it is returned which shouldn't take long. It is unsual for the solicitor to release the original Will though. What is mean't by 'original'varies between organisations, but generally they mean the most recent and valid Will usually a certified copy. In other words have you sent what you thought was the original Will but it is infact a certified copy?
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,481
Kent
When I received probate for my dad's estate I closed 6 bank accounts, I took copies of the original will before applying but not all institutions asked for sight of will. It states on the probate document named executor (s) so I would just take that in, hopefully you bought extra copies, explain the original is now held with the probate office. Many people will only have the original will and no copies and what is the banks process if there isn't a will? Probate document only presumably with ID from the executor.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
411
I sent the original will to the government probate department, in order to get probate. The will had been given to me as the executor, once identity had been established. I believe that I won't get the original back, as it's now a document of public record. When I applied for probate online I ordered extra copies of the Grant of Probate, but the original will (and I have no certified copies, only photocopies) is now lodged with government probate department.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
411
Palerider - it's definitely the original will. I had a copy and knew who my mum's solicitors were - rang them up and collected the original document, as the executor.