The time required to complete the administration of an estate varies according to the terms of the Will (if there is one); the number and nature of the assets; and the time taken by asset holders to provide information. Even straightforward estates take at least six months to complete when the time taken by HMRC and the Probate Registry to process the estate is taken into account. An estimate to the timescale to administer a straightforward estate is given below.

Timescale stage 1

Where an estate includes one property only and up to five bank accounts and there are no other complicating factors, completing stage 1 typically takes between eight and ten weeks from the date of instruction. Where there are complicating features, such as there being numerous assets in the estate or the deceased made significant lifetime gifts, the length of time to make the application for probate is likely to be extended.

HMRC typically takes around 8 weeks to review the inheritance tax return and send a document to the Probate Registry to process the application. The Probate Registry is currently advising that its review of the application will take around 16 weeks if submitted online.  If a paper application is required then the application will inevitably take longer.

Timescale stage 2

Depending on the nature of the assets, collecting and distributing the assets and providing you with estate accounts is likely to take around 6 to 8 weeks once the grant of probate is received. This stage will take longer to complete where there is a property to sell or there are income or capital gains tax to settle.

Part of the legal team at Moore Kingston Smith, Alison Morris has been a private client solicitor for over 18 years, working with families and individuals in the preparation of Wills, obtaining Probate and dealing with the administration of estates, advising on estate and tax planning including lifetime gifts and post death Deeds of Variation,… Read more

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