take in the UK

How long does probate take in the UK?

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What is Probate?

When someone passes away, probate is typically required so that the family can take care of all the necessary admin tasks, from closing accounts and selling property to paying taxes. Unfortunately, it’s not a quick or straightforward process, taking between 3-12 months to complete – and sometimes longer if the case is complex.

It’s for this reason that many people choose to use a Kent accountant for probate services to deal with the process. This means they can focus on dealing with the emotional side of a loss, only getting involved with the admin when necessary.

Let’s take a look at probate in more depth.

Applying for a Grant of Probate

Applying for a Grant of Probate for someone who has left a Will takes between 1-8 weeks, depending on several factors. These include the size and complexity of the estate, and whether there’s an inventory of assets in the Will. You will need a death certificate to apply, and all sorts of information is required before your application can be submitted, such as:

  • The value of any property
  • The amount in bank accounts, pensions and so forth
  • The value of any tax owed
  • The value of any debts or gifts given in the past seven years

If the deceased has not left a Will, or it cannot be found or verified, the process can be longer simply because it can be a harder task to gather all the information required to value the estate.

How long does it take for probate to be approved?

Once you’ve submitted your application to the probate registry, it typically takes between 3-6 weeks for approval to be granted. Once you’ve received the grant in the post, you can begin to deal with the estate.

How long does it take to deal with an estate

Again, this depends very much on the complexity of the estate, and can take anywhere from 3-6 months. Administration tasks include:

  • Calculating and paying inheritance tax, income tax and/or capital gains tax
  • Putting property on the market
  • Closing bank accounts and pensions and accessing the funds
  • Repaying debts
  • Claiming on life insurance policies
  • Distributing funds to the beneficiaries named the in Will (if there is one)

When dealing with the estate, it’s advisable to use Kent tax advisors or similar to ensure you get all the figures right and pay the correct amount of inheritance or capital gains tax that may be owed.

How long does it take to receive inheritance?

Beneficiaries can only receive any funds due to them after probate has been granted. The time this takes depends on how quickly property can be sold and funds from can be accounts accessed, and on whether you’re using a probate service. You may wait anywhere from six months up to a year after the deceased has passed for the money to be available.

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