What is the Threshold for Probate in England & Wales?

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What is the Threshold for Probate?

18th November 2019

The threshold for Probate can range from £5,000 to £50,000, depending on which banks and financial institutions are holding the deceased person's assets. In this article, we explain Probate thresholds in more detail. If you're unsure of whether or not Probate is required, it's always best to seek advice from a Probate Specialist.

For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate Advisors on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.


When someone dies, their affairs will need to be wound up, their assets sold or transferred, their debts settled and their Estate distributed to those entitled to inherit. If there's a Will, this task falls to the Executor of their Will. If there isn't a Will, this responsibility will fall to one of their family members instead, and this person is known as the Administrator.

In order to gain the necessary legal authority to carry out this work, the Executor or Administrator may need to apply for Probate.

The term Probate refers to a legal document which gives the Executor or Administrator authority to deal with the deceased person's assets. This document is called a Grant of Probate if there is a Will or a Grant of Letters of Administration if there isn't.

This document is important because, as you can imagine, banks can't allow just anyone to withdraw money from a deceased person's account. But if you've got a Grant of Probate, for example, it confirms that you have the legal authority to do so.

Probate Thresholds

Probate usually won't be needed if the deceased person owned very little, though it's hard to say exactly what the threshold for Probate is.

It's generally considered that if everything the deceased person owned is worth less than £15,000 Probate won't be needed, but this isn't true in every situation. This is because each financial institution has their own limit that determines whether or not Probate is needed. This ranges from £5,000 to £50,000.

Each financial institution also has different rules on whether the threshold is confined to the amount held in the account, or if this relates to the overall value of the Estate (meaning everything the deceased person owned).

So some banks and financial institutions might say that Probate is required if there is £30,000 being held in an account, whereas others might say that Probate is needed if the entire Estate is worth £30,000.

Therefore if your loved one has recently died, you’ll need to check which financial institutions are holding their assets. You’ll then need to find out what the Probate thresholds are for each.

To make things simper, we've put together a list of the main high street banks and their Probate thresholds. For more information, see Bank Limits for Probate. However, this list is only a guide and these figures are subject to change so we would always recommend speaking with the financial institution in question to confirm.

It’s worth noting that even if your loved one’s Estate is below the Probate threshold, a financial institution can still request that a Grant of Probate is obtained. This is common where there is a complex family situation or a large Estate.

Having said that, if a deceased person’s Estate is worth less £5,000, it would be unusual for Probate to be needed.

Check if Probate is Needed

If your loved one has recently died and you're not sure whether Probate is needed, we can help you. Our Probate Advisors can discuss the size of the Estate and the individual assets with you. We can then let you know if Probate is required or not required and provide advice on the next steps.

To speak with a Co-op Probate Advisor call 03306069584 or contact us online and we will call you.

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