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How Long Does Probate Take if There is a Will?

17th May 2017

On average in England and Wales it takes between 9 and 12 months to get Grant of Probate and to complete the Estate administration process. Probate can take longer in complex Estates, and where unforeseen delays arise, such as if there is no Will.

For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate Advisors on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.

Probate is the process you must go through to get the legal authority to administer a deceased person’s Estate.

Whether or not you need Probate depends on what assets the deceased left behind, and who he/she left them to. People often assume that Probate is not required if there is a Will, but this isn’t true. It’s an asset in the Estate that triggers Probate, not the presence (or absence) of a Will.

Probate If There is a Will

At the start of the Probate process you’ll need to find out whether the deceased person left a legally valid Will, as this dictates who applies for Probate and who the beneficiaries will be.

This is because when someone writes their Will, they can name Executors. Executors are the people they want to administer their Estate after their death. They can also choose who should benefit from their Estate after their death.

Therefore if there is a Will, it’s the Executors who must apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate. On average this takes between three and six months. For more information, see How Long Does Grant of Probate Take.

Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, it’s the duty of the Executors to continue with the administration of the Estate. Our Probate Solicitors estimate that on average, the entire Probate and Estate administration process takes between nine and twelve months.

However this is only an average. Straightforward Estates that don’t include property to be sold or transferred to a beneficiary may be administered faster. On the other hand more complex Estates can take longer, particularly if assets are held overseas.

With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excl VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs.

Is Probate Faster with a Will?

The Probate process is largely the same regardless of whether or not there’s a Will. This means that Probate isn’t necessarily faster if there is a Will.

The presence of a Will can make things more clear-cut. For instance, the loved ones of the deceased will know exactly who the Executors should be. The Executors will also know the names of the beneficiaries, and how much the deceased wanted them to inherit.

Having this information to hand can be a relief for friends and family, who will know that they are following the deceased’s wishes.

However, all Estates are subject to potential delays, and sometimes these relate to the Will.

For instance, the relatives of the deceased may not be able to find the original Will, or the latest version of the Will. If so they will need to search for it, which can be hard as there’s no national register. It can be especially complicated if the organisation that drafted their loved one’s Will has closed down.

Additionally, the Estate will be distributed according to the terms of the Will. If someone has been excluded from the Will, he/she may make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act.

To speak with a Co-op Probate Advisor call 03306069584 or contact us online and we will call you.

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