How long does Probate take?

Probate and Administration of a deceased’s person’s estate comes at a difficult time for families. An important question is how long will the probate take before the deceased’s persons estate is dealt with and the persons entitled to benefit from it have received their inheritance.

There are many factors that affect the timescale:

  • Whether there is a Will and if so is it an English Will
  • The number, type and value of the assets
  • The location of the assets and whether in the UK or abroad
  • Where the deceased died, in the UK or aboard, and whether the deceased lived abroad or in the UK.
  • The number and identity of the beneficiaries under the Will, whether individuals or charities.
  • Any other special factors such as beneficiaries under 18, homemade Will, personal tax affairs not up to date.

Whether there is a Will and if so is it an English Will

If you have a Will that complies with the rules in England and Wales then that helps speed up the process. Probate delays can occur if the Will has not been properly signed and witnessed, or if it is damaged or has been written on or altered. We can review the Will for you at our Fast Track Probate meeting.

The number, type and value of the assets.

As HMRC require information about the assets in the estate before the grant of probate is issued each asset must be valued. If there are unusual assets, such as family heirlooms, then specialist valuations may be required, which can delay completing the forms HMRC require before the application for Probate is made.

HMRC require much longer forms if the estate exceeds various value limits.

The location of the assets and whether in the UK or abroad

If the assets are all in the UK and are property or investments with recognised companies and banks then usually obtaining values is quick and straight-forward.

Where the deceased died, in the UK or aboard, and whether the deceased lived abroad or in the UK.

If the deceased died or lived or was born abroad then the domicile of the deceased must be checked. Domicile is complicated and a lot of information is required by HMRC before they will give a decision on whether the deceased had UK domicile or foreign domicile.

The number and identity of the beneficiaries under the Will, whether individuals or charities.

The beneficiaries need to identified. If charities are involved they have their own admin departments who will require quite detailed information about the estate and regular progress updates. They will also want to check the estate accounts carefully before giving their agreement to the probate being finished.

Any other special factors such as beneficiaries under 18, homemade Will, personal tax affairs not up to date.

There are lots of other factors that can delay probate and winding up the estate. If you know of any that you would like to talk to us about then arrange your Fast Track Probate meeting with us and we will tell you the steps that need to be taken and how will affect how long the probate takes.

How Can We Help?

We offer a Fast-track Probate consultation by phone or video meeting, so you can tell us about the estate and any deadlines.

We will give you an outline of the steps that need to be taken to ensure the probate is dealt with quickly and how long they will take. At the meeting we will also tell you about the steps you should take straight away to help speed up the Probate process.

To arrange your consultation or to talk to us about your probate matter call us on 01273 604 123 and ask for Maureen Edwards or email us at enquire@bbc-law.co.uk. Whether you are based in England or are an ex-pat living abroad, we can help you.

Request Your Fast-track Probate Meeting