How long does Probate take to be granted?
The Grant of Probate will usually take only around six to eight weeks to receive. Full probate process takes between six and nine months to fully complete, at an average cost of around eighty working hours in the vast majority of cases.
However, in more complex and/or contentious cases, the process may take significantly longer. In extreme cases, it may take as many as two or more years to reach conclusion and may require the involvement of specialist contentious probate lawyers.
If you feel the issue of probate will be disputed following the death of a family member or close friend, or if you just wish to discuss the probate process, contact
Inheritance Tax – six months
For most estate beneficiaries Inheritance Tax is perhaps the single most important hurdle to clear in order to achieve the timely and efficient resolution of the probate process.
For this to occur, executors, estate administration solicitors and other parties should ensure that the information pertaining to the estate, its value, its assets and liabilities is collated and provided as accurately as possible.
Inheritance Tax should be paid within six months from the date of death – failure to achieve this timescale may result in the estate's executors or administrators becoming liable for penalties and interest.
Inheritance Act claims – six months
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 enables certain people to make a claim against the Estate of a deceased person if they have grounds to argue that the deceased did not make reasonable financial provision for them – this is true whether the deceased has made a Will or died intestate.
Claimants have six months from the issue of the Grant of Representation to make their claim and a further four months to process it.
This has the potential to slow the probate process considerably as executors and administrators may become personally liable for restitution of the claimant's losses if they distribute the estate to named beneficiaries during this period.
The Executor's year
The "Executor's year" is designed to give executor's and probate lawyers sufficient time to weigh up assets and liabilities, to negotiate any complications and to draw up accurate accounts before distributing the funds to beneficiaries. As such, personal representatives are not bound to distribute the estate until one year after the death. Because of this, gifts of money usually only attract interest one full year from the date of death.
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