How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

My mum died 3 years ago. The solicitor said it wasn't worth

This answer was rated:

Hi, my mum died 3 years ago. The solicitor said it wasn't worth his time and my money to apply for probate for around £25,000. Most of Mum's money is in Premium Bonds. It is to be shared between my 2 daughters and myself with me as executor. The banks didn't want probate, they just paid money into my account at the time. premium Bonds want probate for anything over £5000. My neighbours wife died and left everything to him, including £10,000 in premium Bonds but they said they didn't need probate and transferred them straight to him. Both my daughters are self-employed and now need the money. Do I have to apply for probate please? Thank you.sue
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Suffolk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I applied to Premium Bonds with Mum's will and her death certificate but they said they don't know who I am! I hold premium bonds, as do my two daughters, so should I send them my passport? Birth certificate? Proof of address? My birth certificate?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service.

for background -

why are you only doing this now?

and have you asked Premium Bonds what identification they require?

F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I applied over a year ago when I had got over Mum's death and was very upset with their reply as I had sent a copy of my passport and had the will countersigned by my vicar. I don't need the money but with being in Locldown I am tidying up some of my affairs and realise my daughters can use the money. I am 68, a Lay Elder in the Church of England and didn't like the tone of their letter. I am honest. Thank you. Sue

If there is no house, then the bank building society or other financial institution can deal with this under the informal small estate rules. What happens is that if there is only cash, and no shares or property and not tens and tens of thousands of pounds of cash, they will allow the personal representative/next-of-kin/executor of the will to sign a statutory declaration that they will deal with the estate in accordance with the will/rules of intestacy and that they are entitled to do so.

The bank/building societies have a standard form which the person takes to a firm of solicitors and swears on oath. There is a fixed fee of 5 pounds traditionally payable in cash which the solicitor will usually pocket. Many solicitors will do it without having an appointment because it takes two minutes.

Depending on how many potential beneficiaries there are, it may be necessary to open in executors trustee account to keep the money separate from that person’s own money.

Unfortunately, pension funds and insurance companies can be quite pedantic. I would suggest that you told them (better in writing) that all the other institutions are dealing with it by way of statutory declaration under the small estate rules and that you don’t therefore need probate and can they deal with it in the same way? It’s up to them whether they do or not.

I’m afraid that NS&I in a bit of a law unto themselves.

If you haven’t already seen it, this is the form that you need.

As it says, (leaving everything wide open!) They may ask for probate if the customer’s total NSI savings are over GBP5000 although they reserve the right to request a grant for any value.