One of the most common questions associated with settling a deceased person's estate is “How long does it take to probate a will?” The answer depends on a variety of factors, but in general, probate could take anywhere from a few months to more than a year (or even years).
Probate typically takes between nine months and a year to get everything settled. Here are the main steps you need to take if you're an executor: Register the death – you need to do this within five days of the date of death in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and within eight days in Scotland.
“It all depends on your state's probate laws. In Texas, if you're an only child, there's a will in place, and everything goes according to plan, you could go through probate in three weeks. However, most people are looking at a minimum of eight to 12 weeks to properly go through probate.”
You'll usually get the grant of probate or letters of administration within 8 weeks of sending in your original documents. It can take longer if you need to provide additional information.
For new solicitor applications the waiting time varies between 10 to 12 weeks. This waiting time only applies to cases where the papers are error free. The Courts Service informs me that up to sixty percent of applications are returned to solicitors due to errors.
Typically, after death, the process will take between 6 months to a year, with 9 months being the average time for probate to complete. Probate timescales will depend on the complexity and size of the estate. If there is a Will in place and the estate is relatively straightforward it can be done within 6 months.
Using a Probate solicitor will speed up the process. A solicitor will complete the application on behalf of the personal representatives. This will be a relief, as many people do not have the time to manage the process on their own.
Firstly, a search can be carried out on the Government's website at the dedicated Probate records search service. By entering the deceased's name and date of death you will be informed if the Grant has been issued and can obtain a copy of the Grant and the relevant Will for a small fee.
Unfortunately there is no easy way of fast tracking probate. There is no special process that is available to do it or extra fee that you can pay to get it done faster than normal. Essentially there are three main stages and at various times you may be reliant on what others are doing which may cause delays.
It is vital on someone's death that the executors obtain Probate as you have no legal authorisation to sell a property before Probate is granted, unless your name is already on the title deeds.
Wait eight weeks
According to analysis, a large number of legal professionals and personal applicants are not waiting for the eight-week timeframe before contacting HMCTS to check their application progress.
As this type of inheritance act claim must be made within six months of probate being granted, solicitors often hold onto money owned by the estate until this time-period has elapsed. This ensures the estate has the assets required should an inheritance act arise.
The less free time you have to deal with the estate and everything attached to it, the longer it will take. Utilising the help of expert probate solicitors will not only ensure there are no mistakes throughout the process, but it will likely get the job done much faster.
Although there are some exceptions, it is usually against the law for you to start sharing out the estate or to get money from the estate, until you have probate or letters of administration.
You won't be able to sell the home until probate has been granted. Although you may put the property on the market, contracts can't be exchanged – so your buyer will need to be prepared to wait. It usually takes six to eight weeks for probate to come through, although it can take longer in more complex cases.
Probate involves a significant amount of legal, tax and administrative work which can be very time consuming and if this work is not completed in a timely manner, the probate process will inevitably take longer. For this reason, most executors choose to instruct a probate specialist to do the work on their behalf.
There is not a rule for how long you have to start probate. It is up to the executor to decide when they think it is appropriate to start the administration of the estate.
Can You Live in a House During Probate? If you already live in the house at the time when the decedent has died, you may continue to live in it until the probate ends.
Executors are asked not to chase cases for at least 8 weeks unless there are genuinely special circumstances or you will be delaying work. If you just want the Probate Application Pack or have Inheritance Tax queries, call 0300 123 1072.
Obtaining the grant of probate The grant of probate can take up to 3 months to arrive once the application has been sent to the probate registry. If the application isn't submitted early on, this could hold things up further down the line. 2.
You can sell before probate is granted and property can be sold while the application for the Grant of Probate is pending and the closing date linked to its issue, but early legal and specific legal advice is recommended in such circumstances.
Once this document has been obtained from the Probate Registry, an official copy will need to be sent to all of the banks and financial institutions that have asked to see it. Generally, collecting straightforward estate assets like bank account money will take between 3 to 6 weeks.
Funeral expenses can usually be paid for from the deceased person's estate*, but you may have to wait until the probate process has been completed for funds to become available. This can take 9-12months or longer, depending on the complexity of the Estate.