The time required to complete the administration of an estate varies according to, among other things, 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 and release assets. However, even straightforward estates can take 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 time required to administer a straightforward estate is given below.
Stage 1: where an estate includes one property only and up to five bank accounts and there are no other complicating features, 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.
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 six to eight 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.