The honest answer is similar to that of “How long is a piece of thread?” No two estate are identical even though superficially they may appear to have little similarities. As a rule of thumb, smaller and/ or less complicated estates are wound up far more faster than large or complicated estates, but this is by no means always the case.
A probate process can take weeks, months, or even years. However, the time it takes will vary depending on a few factors, which can change how the probate works.
How long do most estate take to settle?
It is always the case that an estate can be completed within 6 months of the date of death where, for instance, there is no property to be sold and no other challenging factors. When the estate administrator begins, it is always hoped that all issues will be completed within a year. One important reason for this is that the estate will have to pay interest on pecuniary legacies (sum of money) that are paid to estate beneficiaries after this period.
Other circumstances can spring up during the course of the administration of an estate which may delay matters. On the flip side, roadblocks that have been anticipated may not result in the problems, meaning the administration is wound up far quicker than envisioned.
- Timescale can likewise be affected by two significant factors:
- The assets in the estate,
- How they are being transferred.
These factors can have an effect on the administration in the following ways.
The assets in the estate
Where a deceased individual has liquid assets only (like bank accounts) and the estate is not subject to inheritance tax then it makes sense to suppose that the administration could be concluded within a six months period.
This timescale will go up slightly where the estate is subject to inheritance tax. This is because a tax return must be sent to HM Revenue and Customs and any tax must be settled before the Grant of Probate can be issued in court. The Grant of Probate is a legal document which grants authority to handle a deceased person’s money, assets and property, and this is required before any assets can be released.
Where the deceased owned a property in their sole name, and this is to be sold, the timescale for administration of the Estate is always determined by how long it takes to sell the property. It would be unusual for an estate containing a property to be completed in less than 12 months.
The timescale can be increase significantly where the assets are more complicated. For instance if the deceased had foreign assets or there are Trust interest involved, it can be impossible to estimate how long the administration will take. In these circumstances it may be required to instruct country-specific Lawyers or liaise with Trustees.
How the assets are being transferred
This may simply be a matter of whether the deceased had an authentic will in place when they died or whether they died without an authentic will (known as dying intestate). But, even with a valid will it may be more complicated if any beneficiaries have died or are missing.
Need a Probate Lawyer?
The probate process can be time-consuming, stressful, and pretty complicated. For this reason, you need to contact a professional to help you handle the probate process. If you were designated as the executor of an estate, the chances are that you’ll represent the decedent in court.
As the estate executor, you will be charged with multiple tasks, ranging from settling of unpaid debt and taxes, ensuring that the deceases assets are well accounted for, etc. These are difficult tasks, especially if you lack the experience.
So what do you do? To get some of these burdens off your shoulder, it is best you contact a probate lawyer. A probate lawyer will ensure that the necessary tasks are taken care of quickly. In addition this professional will answer your questions and quell your worries. If you are a beneficiary to the estate, a probate attorney can also be of help.
Contact us to provide you with the best probate lawyer for your case. Our probate lawyers are quite experienced, understanding, and up-to-date about probate laws.