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I lost my husband in tragic circumstances last year. We were on a trip to Peru and he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Since then I have been struggling, not only with my grief, but also with sorting out his finances. For months I have been jumping through hoops to access his bank accounts and pensions.
I am the executor of his will and the sole beneficiary of his estate. After what feels like a long and endless slog, I have finally managed to access all of his accounts, except for two. These are with OakNorth Bank and Marcus, which is a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. About £50,000 of his money is split between these two accounts.
I have sent them a copy of the death certificate, a certified copy of the will, my birth and marriage certificates, a copy of my passport and utility bills for proof of address. But now they are asking for a grant of probate, which is a costly and lengthy process.
Although I have spoken to them and told them that no other financial institution is demanding this, they still insist that I must provide it. I am extremely distressed by this, and wonder if there is anything you can do to help.
AW, via email
三级成人视频I was so very sorry to hear that your husband died suddenly after being caught up in this incident. Dealing with the shock of it all these past few months must have been extremely traumatic and you have my sympathy.
三级成人视频I understand that while grieving for a loved one, dealing with financial matters such as this may feel even harder to cope with. You have tried to do everything right and being asked to produce a grant of probate has been the straw that broke the camel’s back. You are tired and just want this sorted, hence why you wrote to me for help.
I think it might be helpful for me to explain what purpose a grant of probate serves and why it is important. It is a legal document that confirms the will’s executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s property, money and belongings.
In simple terms, it provides an extra layer of confirmation to the bank or financial institution holding the money, showing that the will and its executors are current and up to date.
People can change their will at any time and without the probate document it’s possible that companies could dish out money to the wrong person. If that happens, they will find themselves on the hook for large sums of money when the true benefactor finds out and comes knocking.
三级成人视频Companies have varying policies on grants of probate. In recent years, banks have become laxer with their rules, with some waiving the need for it when small sums are being claimed.
On this occasion, it appears that both OakNorth Bank and Marcus want to see a grant of probate. This effectively means that they aren’t prepared to take the risk of paying the money to the wrong person and then facing a legal claim.
I’m sorry, as I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but these companies are within their rights to request this.
Y三级成人视频ou have mentioned to me that despite you being the sole beneficiary of your late husband’s estate, he does have children from a previous marriage.
I am not suggesting for one second that you are hiding something here, so please don’t read into this as an insinuation. But I hope you understand why I cannot use my influence to push these institutions away from taking reasonable steps to ensure they are acting appropriately.
You can imagine a scenario in which a sum is paid to the wrong person and angry children come chasing the money years later. Sadly, legal rows over inheritances are all too common.
The good news is that probate isn’t necessarily the complex and expensive process that you thought it was. It can be obtained relatively cheaply and it takes a few weeks to be granted.
You say you aren’t desperate for this £50,000, so you’re going to use some of the time you now have at home to complete the application. If you need any help with it, I’ve said I’m here at your service.
三级成人视频When we last spoke the sun was shining, the birds were singing and you were about to go for a walk. I can see it is your positive attitude that has carried you this far and I’m confident you can get over this final hurdle. Just keep going, my dear reader, and I know you’ll be all right.
The full Katie Morley Investigates column will appear in print every Saturday and Sunday. You can get an early taste every Friday at 1200.
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