If your husband died suddenly without signing the will, then there is no will and his estate is dealt with under the rules of intestacy.
A spouse gets the first GBP275,000 of his estate and if there are children, the remainder over and above GBP275,000 is split 50-50 between the spouse and the children.
If there is no property or land or shares involved, and the estate is just in cash with no single asset over about GBP20,000, the majority of financial institutions will deal with this under the small estate rules.
Each of the banks, building societies et cetera have a standard statutory declaration form which you have to get sworn in front of a solicitor. It costs a fixed fee of 5 pounds.
You swear, on oath, that you are entitled to deal with the estate and that you will deal with it in accordance with the terms of the will or if there is no will, the rule of intestacy.
The bank will then release the money to you and if you don’t deal with it correctly, you commit a criminal offence which is fraud.
However if there is land/property and shares or large amounts of money in the bank, then you are going to need grant of probate if there is a will, or letters of administration if there is no will.
The government have produced these pages on the process.
of course, if an individual or individuals in appointed executor, and they don’t feel capable or don’t want to deal with it they can appoint solicitors to deal with it for them and the solicitor’s costs would be paid for out of the estate. Nobody can be compelled to actually do the work if they don’t want to.
Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.
I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have