Posted by Amish Patel, Associate
Deceased Indian customers and frozen UK bank accounts
Banks continue to release funds without a Grant of Representation where the monies in question are of a low value; each bank differs in what it classes as low value with some releasing funds up to £10,000 and others willing to release funds up to £50,000 after a customer has died.
This usually boils down to the amount of risk a bank is willing to take to lessen the administrative burdens. It is the norm for an indemnity to be signed by the family member requesting the funds before the bank releases them without a Grant of Representation but the indemnity is, of course, only as good as the person signing it. This risk is further increased as a bank pursuing someone internationally for recovery of those funds is much more costly with, arguably, a lesser chance of recovery. This may leave the bank on the hook for funds which it released in good faith.
Therefore, it can be difficult to balance trying to reduce the administrative burden whilst also trying to minimise risk and banks should continue to monitor this closely.
We continue to see Indian families with a deceased family member who has frozen UK bank accounts being perplexed and confused by the UK probate process. We are able to provide a cost effective route to extracting a UK Grant of Representation for these clients to release the UK bank accounts allowing the banks to hand over the money without risk.
In particular, we have expertise in helping families based in India to navigate the UK probate process.
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