How Long Does it Take to Get Inheritance after Probate?

Nadia Rimmer
Nadia Morgan
Associate Solicitor Advocate

If it’s a simple or small Estate with no properties to sell or beneficiaries to track down, then the process can take as little as 3 months.

Typically, though the Probate process can take between 6 and 9 months in England and Wales. It really depends on the complexities of the Estate, the number of beneficiaries and the length of time they take to sign documents and return them.

Furthermore, the deceased person may or may not have left a Will, and Inheritance Tax (IHT) issues must be considered before any wealth and assets are distributed between beneficiaries.

Whichever factor is affecting the Probate process, it’s important to note that ‘only’ after completing all other necessary steps in the Probate process, can funds be distributed amongst beneficiaries. 

For free initial legal advice call our Probate Solicitors. We can explain the process to you, and go through any roles and responsibilities if you’re the named Executor of an Estate.

Call us on 0808 239 4634 or request a callback

Executor Role and Responsibilities

There are a few requirements that need to be addressed before you can start to think about anything that might affect how long it takes to receive any inheritance.

Generally, a Grant of Representation must be secured for the Executor to legally distribute the assets and carry out their duties as stated in the Will.

If a Will was left, then the Executor needs to apply for a Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry (Court). If the deceased hasn’t left a Will, then the relatives will need to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration.

Once a Grant has been obtained, the personal representatives have the legal authority to manage the deceased person’s assets and begin the process of:

  • Collecting the Estate assets, including money due from the sale of property or objects
  • Calculate and pay any Capital Gains and Income Tax due
  • Pay any outstanding bills
  • Close any bank accounts in the deceased’s name
  • Sell or transfer any shares
  • Transfer any property held by the person who died according to their Will or rules of Intestacy

Our Probate Solicitors are experienced in all areas of Probate Law and can work with you to secure a Grant of Representation.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax must be paid usually within 6 months of the person’s death and must be paid out of the Estate. It’s crucial to do this quickly because HMRC can charge interest for late payment.

What Else Can Delay Receiving Inheritance?

The process of collecting in all the assets and resolving any loose ends for the deceased can typically take up to 3-6 weeks. Most cases are straightforward but occasionally there will be hurdles that pop up.

Selling Property

It can be difficult to find a buyer when selling a Probate property, especially if there are issues with the property. One of our Conveyancers can check but this also adds time to the process and can be costly.

Selling Shares

If there are a number of shares, you may need to work with a stockbroker but this can lead to lots of paperwork and add on a significant amount of time to the process.

Selling Foreign Properties and Assets

Not only will you need to work with foreign estate agents and Lawyers, but you’ll also need to abide by local laws. You’ll need to check how to get permission to sell the property, and also you’ll need to know if notification of the death is a legal requirement in that country.

Paying Off Debts

Creditors can be notified by placing a Statutory Advertisement in the press so that any remaining debts can be claimed for. Creditors have a 2-month window of opportunity to act upon this. Repayments will be claimed from the Estate.

Long-lost or Estranged Beneficiaries

Some relatives may have been named in the Will, yet they could be estranged from the deceased or not known to the immediate family and difficult to locate.

Dealing with Probate and the administration of an Estate at an already difficult time can be upsetting and overwhelming. Furthermore, Probate can be a long process. The Probate process can be a lot longer if the Estate is complicated or any beneficiaries cannot be traced. Without the expertise of a Probate Solicitor, it could take even longer. 

At Simpson Millar, we can provide guidance and support and tailor our Probate service to match what you need. We can either obtain a Grant of Probate for you or get the Grant and deal with the complete Probate process from start to finish.

For free legal advice call our Probate Solicitors

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