Losing a loved one is extremely challenging and emotional. The logistics of handling the decedent’s will can add an extra layer of difficulty. Often the process of obtaining probate and receiving the contents of the will takes a long time. Many individuals may be going through this process for the first time and can be wondering how to receive money from a will. Or what happens after probate is granted. Here is a probate timeline that can help guide you through the process.
To prove to the court that the deceased person’s will is valid, you will have to go through the probate process. A will is a binding document and must be handled through a legal process, which can take a long time. You will not be able to make any financial decisions with the loved one’s property, money, and possessions until you get the grant of probate.
First and foremost, check if a probate is necessary as there are some instances where it is not needed. Typically, it is not required if:
- The deceased person had land, property, shares, or money that was jointly owned
- The deceased person did not have any assets besides savings
If the deceased person had jointly owned land, the land will be passed on to the surviving owners.
Then, check if you are eligible to apply for the probate. If the deceased person had a will, the individuals named in the will are eligible to apply for a grant of probate. If the deceased person did not have a will, the closest living relative may apply for a grant of probate.
Applying for a grant of probate can extend between one week and a couple of months. Several factors determine the length of the probate process, including:
- The size of the estate
- Inventory of assets in the will
- Death certificate
- The time it takes for the provider to complete the application
After the probate process, an additional six months to a year may be added to figure out all the accounts and sell the property. Conversely, you may choose to keep the property, at which time you must determine the appropriate taxes to pay.
How Much Does Probate Cost in the UK?
The probate process can range anywhere from £1,000 to £20,000 or more. The price depends on the size of the estate or property. Also, it depends on which solicitor you go to because some may charge more than others and may have additional fees. Some solicitors charge hourly, and others have a fixed rate. If you do not have the funds to pay for a solicitor right away, consider getting a quick payday loan. These loans can help you if you need cash in a short amount of time. However, it is important to note that this should be used as a temporary solution and only if you have the means to pay back the lender.
There are different services that you can get depending on your circumstances. For example, look into a grant-only service if you want to sell the property, close bank accounts, or allocate funds to loved ones. This type of service can save you money and is typically a short and relatively easy transaction. The process is usually done over the phone, and there is no probate grant process involved. However, if you prefer to get it in writing, this process can also be conducted via email.
If you choose not to handle the probate or administration processes, you can elicit the services of an administrator. A probate solicitor can handle these processes on your behalf for a fee. Typically, the cost of these services will depend on the size of the estate and assets.
How Long is the Application Process for Probate Without a Will?
Applying for a grant of probate without a will can be a long process. It can take anywhere from one week to several months, especially when there is an estate that is in intestacy. Intestacy occurs when the decedent passes without a will. Without a will, there will likely be no instructions in place regarding asset distribution. Although contingency plans exist for these instances, your probate application progress will likely take longer.
Once probate is granted, you may have legal rights to the deceased person’s property. It will be easier if there is a will, as you will likely receive the grant of probate. If there was no will, then a letter of administration is issued instead. Then, an administrator or executor will determine what happens with the estate. If there are any pending payments left by the deceased, the administrator or executor is also in charge of making sure all liabilities are paid.
If you plan to distribute the estate after probate, it could take six months to a couple of years before the process is completed. It could take longer depending on the size of the estate and how many beneficiaries there are. If the deceased did not leave the property in the will, the process may be quicker to divide other assets, such as cash and shares, among the beneficiaries.
Once the probate has been granted what happens next? The property will be put for sale, and the timeline for receiving your inheritance will depend on how quickly the property is sold. Once sold, it may take three to six weeks to distribute the inheritance, such as cash.
The probate application process is rather lengthy, leading many to ask, “Why is probate taking so long?” Several factors contribute to the long duration of this process, including the size of the property and the assets. However, in the UK, it takes approximately three to six months for funds to be distributed to the beneficiaries after the grant of probate has been issued.