Banks and building societies usually freeze the deceased’s accounts until the executor of the will has received grant of probate. This can take many months, depending on the complexity of the state. The executor is able to access only the money necessary to pay for the funeral and inheritance tax bills, adding stress to already difficult circumstances.
But some of Britain’s biggest banks are increasing the amount of money they will release from customers without probate being received. Each organisation has its own limit on how much it will release without a grant of probate, but the move has been welcomed.