What does the scheme cover?
The scheme is available for clients of firms accredited for probate by ICAEW, who can apply for compensation if they have suffered a loss that was in consequence of:
- fraud or other dishonesty on the part of an accredited probate firm or of any principal or employee of an accredited probate firm, in connection with their activities in the course of authorised work; or
- a failure to account for money which was received by an accredited probate firm, or the principal or employee of an accredited probate firm, in connection with their activities in the course of authorised work.
Each case will be considered on its merits and ICAEW’s Probate Committee has an absolute discretion to decide whether to make a grant under the scheme and on such terms it deems appropriate. No person has a legally enforceable right to a grant. It is a fund of last resort and the applicant should have explored other ways to recover the loss, for example making an insurance claim or taking court action. A grant will be refused if the Probate Committee considers the loss is capable of being made good by other means.
There are certain limits on how much can be paid out and in what circumstances, which are set out fully in the Probate Compensation Scheme Regulations. These include but are not limited to:
- A maximum grant of £500,000 in connection with a single estate.
- Claims must usually be made within 12 months.
- Notice should also be given to the accredited probate firm.
- Grants will not be made if the applicant is a body corporate or registered charity with an annual turnover of or exceed £1m.
- Certain losses are not covered, for example trading debts or liabilities of the accredited probate firm (see regulation 5.1 for further details).
How to apply
You should contact ICAEW as soon as possible if you are considering making an application for a grant. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.