Fixed Probate Fees, call:

0800 612 6105

Alternatively local rate:

020 8150 2010

How Long Should Probate Take?

There is no one definitive answer to the question of how long probate takes from beginning to end. Some cases take just a few weeks, whereas others can take many months – even years. It depends on the complexity of the estate and how quickly the executor works amongst other things.

The executor may not be able to complete their work as quickly as might be hoped if, for example, they already have a full time job. Plus, being an executor takes time even if there isn’t a job or family commitments vying for attention. Everything needs to be done in the right order and at the right time because mistakes are difficult to rectify – especially if they are to do with an inheritance that has already been paid out.

But it might not be simply that the executor has to prioritise their own work and family over the will. It could be that delays are caused because it is difficult to identify all the assets and liabilities of the deceased (for example if there are no clear records). Perhaps the deceased was a beneficiary of a trust, or had made gifts in the seven years prior to their death – these too can cause issues and turn a straightforward estate into a complicated one that requires more time to handle properly.

Disputes also lengthen the time it takes to finalise probate. If someone challenges or contests the will then all proceedings must halt until the problem is dealt with.

However, in general terms, if there are no complications then probate can be completed within six to nine months.

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