The Department considers that raising the sum has the potential to assist with some of the difficulties that beneficiaries may experience in relation to the deceased’s estate.
Such an increase would mean that there would be a quicker and more efficient process in the payment of money to nominated persons or beneficiaries, without the involvement and stress of court applications and associated bureaucracy for relatives.
It would also remove the need for legal fees and court fees to be paid by relatives. This is especially an issue where those relatives may be financially challenged and cannot afford to pay those fees in advance.
Having had this opportunity to consider these issues and taking into account the 16 year period that has passed since the small payments limit was last reviewed, our initial view is that there is merit in raising the limit at this time, and that the sum of £20,000 appears a reasonable figure in the circumstances, taking account of the effects of inflation and the potential concerns which could be raised by stakeholders.