Over the past few years one issue with applying for Probate has been the time taken for the Grant to be issued by the Court. There are lengthy delays across the UK and unfortunately, they don’t look like easing in the near future.
A Grant of Probate is required in order to be able to administer the estate of a loved one in the majority of cases, after they have passed on. This is true even where there is a Will in place. This Court application process is completed by the Executors of the deceased, although many people are choosing to use professional Executors, as certain elements of the administration can be difficult to follow and, at times, very trying.
Over the past few years one issue with applying for Probate has been the time taken for the Grant to be issued by the Court. There are lengthy delays across the UK and unfortunately, they don’t look like easing in the near future. These delays can cause frustration and upset for many grieving families. Currently the average time for a Grant of Probate to be issued is over 16 weeks which means the estate administration could take between nine months and a year, with more complicated estates taking longer still.
There are measures which can be taken, which may not speed the process up, but may help avoid further delays. Having a full understanding of the responsibilities and tasks required of an Executor prior to starting will help. As will ensuring all information required has been gathered together. Applying promptly to the Court will help, however applying promptly with full knowledge of the assets and liabilities of the estate is better still and will avoid corrections after the Grant has been issued.
Not many people are aware that any Inheritance Tax liability must be paid prior to the application, or that statuary notices must be published. This is why more people are making use of Professional Executors to complete the administration of an estate.
Professionals understand what is required and how information is best submitted. They deal regularly with all the officials involved and are in a better position to follow up on a process and learn why there may be delays. The knowledge and experience of a Professional Executor can mean that many potential delays are avoided all together.
Whichever route is taken it is wise to be both prepared and patient as a year long wait is now more likely than not, if not longer.