The Probate Process
Probate can be a lengthy process. The amount of time it takes to complete will depend on the complexity of the estate and whether or not any issues such as claims made by people who aren’t mentioned in the Will are raised at any point.
On average probate will take between six and nine months to complete, this can end up being substantially longer, however, if complications arise.
The best way to ensure that everything gets done quickly and efficiently, and that all foreseeable problems are prepared for, is to instruct a probate solicitor to take charge of the process.
Stages of Probate
There are four main stages in the probate process in the UK.
First of all everything the deceased person owned needs to be gathered together and valued, so that the entire estates worth can be ascertained. This needs to be done for tax purposes and to ensure that nothing gets missed. Complications at this stage can occur if property is located abroad or if any assets mentioned in a Will cannot be found.
Grant of Probate Application
Before access to bank and building society accounts or other private property will be granted the probate office needs to be satisfied that there is no fraud or other subversive activities going on.
They will need to see various documents and conduct a face to face interview with the applicant; once this is done they will issue a Grant of Representation, which gives the executor all the necessary authority.
Before the redistribution can begin, the affairs of the deceased person need to be put in order. Any debts must be settled and inheritance tax calculated and paid if necessary.
Finally, the property and possessions can be handed out to the people who are entitled to them. Executors must keep records of all payments and transfers made to avoid future problems.