The Law Society has this week published a new joint protocol with the Nationwide Building Society to assist in the winding up of estates.
The protocol is the first such agreement to be reached with a building society, although similar arrangements are already in place with HSBC and Lloyds TSB. Further discussions are underway with other financial institutions.
The protocols aim to assist solicitors in dealing with the different administrative procedures of banks, where they are holding assets which form part of a deceased’s estate.
The agreements have been drawn up by the Law Society together with the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners.
Law Society president Robert Heslett said: ‘These practice protocols are a significant achievement, since managing relationships with banks and building societies has long been a problematic aspect of probate practice.’
He added that ‘regular administrative delays’ when dealing with banks could cause ‘extra costs due to the difficulty in finalising inheritance tax or income tax liability’.