The precise timescale of the probate will depend on a number of factors including the complexity of the assets and the level and speed of engagement of the executors, beneficiaries, asset holders and other third parties. However, the estimated time frame is set out below:
The first steps before we are instructed by the executors, include reviewing the Will and confirming that all executors wish to act. This stage can take one to six weeks depending on the executors' speed in providing us with suitable ID and proof of address documents and answering other requests for information.
Once we are instructed, initial steps include a meeting with the executors to discuss the estate and probate process, correspondence with the beneficiaries and reviewing property ownership. This stage can take four to eight weeks depending on the executors' speed in providing us with the information we require.
Calculating the deceased's estate, including correspondence with all the deceased's asset holders to request valuations and establishing the estate's income and liabilities can take three to six months. This depends on the speed of responses for requests for information from third parties and from the executors.
Preparing the inheritance tax return and arranging payment of the inheritance tax can take one to three months depending on the speed of input from third party asset holders and the executors. HMRC can take six to eight weeks to respond.
Obtaining the grant of probate, including drafting and submitting the documentation to the probate registry can take one to six weeks. The probate registry can take two to four weeks to respond.
Collecting in the deceased's assets and settling any liabilities can take three to six months, depending on the speed of input from third party asset holders and the executors.
Distribution of the estate and finalising the tax position of the estate can take 6 to 24 months depending on the speed of responses for requests for information from third parties, from beneficiaries and from the executors. If there is an ongoing trust of the estate, the timeframe can be several years.