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Administration of Estates consultation launched

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The Department of Finance is seeking views on raising the small payment sum. This is the amount of money that may be released to the beneficiaries of a deceased person without probate.

Currently, in certain situations where organisations hold a deceased person’s funds exceeding £10,000, beneficiaries must apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, to allow that money to be released.

Launching the consultation, which is suggesting increasing the limit of the small payments sum to £20,000, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said:

“There has been an increase in the number of estates totalling a little over £10,000 affected by this limit. Currently these beneficiaries must apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, to allow the organisation to release the money. This can be costly and can delay access to the estate at a difficult and stressful time.

“The current limit of £10,000 was set in 2004. It is time to review this legislation to ensure the efficient and quick payment of money to beneficiaries. I would encourage organisations and individuals to get involved and share their views on this important subject.”

The consultation will run until 24 August 2020 and further details can be found at www.finance-ni.gov.uk/consultations/probate-consultation

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