Is Probate always required?
1. Assets held in joint names
Probate is not normally required to deal with assets held in joint names. For example a property registered in joint names can pass directly from one spouse to another or a bank account held in joint names.
2. Small Estates
If the estate is quite small, generally under £20,000 and there is a Will, you may not need to gain Probate. Most banks and building societies will release funds if you can show proof of ID, a copy of the death certificate and the Will proving you are the beneficiary. However, if there is no Will and there is any doubt as to the beneficiaries, you will need to gain some form of Grant of Representation (Probate).