What is Probate? And How Long Can I Expect It To Take?
What is a Grant of Probate? When a person dies, leaving behind a Will and more than £20,000 in bank accounts held in their sole name, a Grant of Probate is required to enable the Executors to access and administer the assets of the deceased. If you are named as an Executor in a Will, you have a great deal of responsibility. You are responsible for gathering in and valuing the assets of the estate, paying off any debts and liabilities, calculating and paying any Inheritance Tax that is due and distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will. You will only be able to do all of this if you have a Grant of Probate. The Grant is essentially confirmation that the Will is valid and that you, as an Executor, have authority to deal with the deceased’s estate. An Executor of a small Estate, where available assets are valued at less than £20,000, may not need to apply for a Grant of Probate. In this instance, an Executor may simply be required to prove their entitlement to deal with the deceased’s money and assets by showing evidence of the Will, alongside other identification as required by various institutions, before being allowed access to the deceased’s bank accounts. Other assets such as personal items (i.e. jewellery, furniture) can usually be distributed directly to beneficiaries in accordance with instructions in the Will. How long does it take to obtain a Grant of Probate? This will depend on the current caseload of your local Probate Registry at the time you apply for the Grant. On average, you can expect to receive a Grant of Probate 14 days after the Registry receives your application. As an Executor, you can then register your Grant of Probate with all of the financial institutions associated with the Estate in order to start dealing with the deceased’s assets. How long does it take to complete the administration of an Estate? This will depend upon whether, as an Executor, you are thinking of administrating the Estate yourself or whether you are going to engage the services of a Probate Solicitor. Administering an Estate can be a lengthy and complex process, therefore it is unsurprising that a Solicitor who is familiar with this area of law will be able to complete the process in a shorter period of time than a lay Executor. The complexity of the Estate will also have a bearing on the timeline for completion. For example, an Estate that consists of multiple shares, bank accounts, investments, savings etc. will take longer to administer than an Estate with fewer assets to gather in. As a general rule, however, all Executors are given a period of time that is classed as the ‘Executor’s year’, which runs from the date of the Grant of Probate, in which to complete the process of fully administering the Estate. Are you an Executor and considering doing your own Probate? Then there are a number of factors that are vital for you to consider. Please click here to read our blog which addresses everything you should contemplate before undertaking Probate work yourself: http://ascotlawyers.co.uk/news/2410-are-you-an-executor-and-considering-doing-your-own-probate-why-risk-it.html Contact us: We have aimed to make our fee structure as transparent and competitive as possible. If you are the Executor, we charge a flat 1% fee* on the gross value of the Estate to obtain the Grant of Probate and to administer the Estate. Our fees are taken out of the Estate, so as an Executor you do not need to personally fund the work that we undertake. Our Head of Department, Deniece Lines, will arrange an initial consultation and an advice session with you that can take place face-to-face or in writing. We can also arrange home visits for those clients who are unable to travel. If you have any questions or would like to talk with Deniece Lines, please call 01344 512370 or email: email@example.com. *Subject to a minimum charge of £500.