You and the Law – 12th October 2010

Worried about funeral expenses

We have made Wills leaving everything to our married son.  But we wondered whether, if anything should happen to us both at the same time, he would be able to get money from our account immediately to pay our funeral expenses, for example.  Would everything have to go through probate first?  RT

Banks and building societies will often pay funeral accounts without requiring to see a Grant of Probate.  Beyond this they will generally require a Grant of Probate if the account contains more than £5,000.00 or £10,000.00.

It’s often the case, however, that the bank account balance will fall below this after the funeral bill is paid, in which case the bank will release the funds on receipt of a certified copy of the Death Certificate and Will.

The bank may require an indemnity to be signed protecting them in the event of a beneficiary turning up later claiming that he or she should have had a share of the monies from the account.

Time for a break

I work part-time at the local hospital, doing four-hour shifts.  Should I be entitled to a 10-minute break during this period?  CS

As far as the law is concerned, adults become entitled to a 20-minute break once they have worked longer than six hours.  Workers aged 17 or under are entitled to a 30-minute break after working for 4+ hours.  So you will only be entitled to a break in your four-hour shift if your employment contract says so.  It would no doubt be unreasonable, however, for an employer to deny you a ‘comfort’ break.

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