Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

My mother is a widow aged 94 and lives in a nursing home. She has savings of around £5,000. Since I am her only child she refuses to make a will in the belief that her savings will come to me anyway. But I am concerned that without a will her money will be swallowed up by probate expenses.

Whether your mother makes a will or not has no bearing on whether probate is required: the determining factor is the value of her estate. Most banks and building societies will pay out sums up £5,000 without requiring production of a grant, so by the time you have paid the funeral expenses from her account it’s unlikely this will be necessary. You should receive her savings under the intestacy rules.

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