How long will it take?
Whatley Weston and Fox will always try and make sure that any probate or administration takes no longer than is absolutely necessary. We know that it is frustrating when, as a beneficiary, you are waiting for an estate to be finalised. We will never take longer than we have to in order to deal with matters and please bear in mind that often the time taken will be dictated by factors outside of your or our control.
For a simple probate matter, estates are usually dealt with within 3-6 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probates takes 4-8 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can prepare estate accounts and distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks. More complex probates can take considerably longer as there are potentially tax issues which arise and delays often result when dealing with HMRC.
We will always make sure that you are kept up to date with that which is happening. Some of the factors that can make a matter take longer include:
- Problems as to the validity of the will and the claims of competing wills;
- Cooperation from family, executors and beneficiaries;
- Where enquiries need to be made to identify beneficiaries;
- Obtaining the death certificate and/or arranging the funeral.
- Issues affecting the property of the deceased including for example house clearance, insurance claims, making the property safe or problems with overseas properties;
- Complicated estates which have multiple accounts or properties and complex financial planning;
- Foreign assets – especially those where we need to obtain grants in other countries to deal with property;
- Business the deceased was involved in at the date of death or farming assets;
- Complex trusts;
- Locating missing beneficiaries and obtaining missing beneficiary insurance where appropriate;
- Dealing with tax;
- Dealing with property sales and
- Preparing any deeds of variation of the terms of a will.
There are many factors that can influence how long a probate will take to deal with. Often simply the length of time that others take to respond can be a significant factor and usually we will have little or no ability to change this.
Bear in mind also that we will not be able to finalise an estate until all claims on the estate have been received. Anyone wishing to make a claim on the estate has six months from the date probate is granted to make such a claim against the estate. For this reason, we suggest that the process is going to take at least eight months to a year.
If the deceased person died without having made a will and we therefore have to deal with the estate under what are known as “the intestacy rules”, then it is likely that process will take even longer as we will need to establish who the beneficiaries are.