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Legal, pensions and money

Anybody know how long probate is likely to take

(38 Posts)
Franbern Fri 29-Dec-23 09:23:57

No property involved, straight forward will - all to be shared equally between adult children. Named and willing Executor. Only complication is due to monies given less than seven years ago, will take total amount over inheritance tax rates.

Just wondered if anyone could give some sort of idea as go how long this is likely to take - three months? six months?

maddyone Fri 29-Dec-23 09:33:26

I think it often takes different lengths of time Franbern, as you say, depending on the will. Sometimes it’s very quick, others it drags on for a few months. My daughter in law’s mother died in late Spring/early Summer this year. Probate is still going on although they applied quickly after she died. On the other hand, after my own mother’s death, Probate only took a few weeks.
Sorry to not be very helpful.

Katie59 Fri 29-Dec-23 10:19:11

If previous gifts are involved a solicitor will most likely be needed, time will depend on their work load. There is normally a time limit of 2 yrs, part of the gifts may have to be repaid unless there is enough cash in the estate to pay any tax.

Cabbie21 Fri 29-Dec-23 10:34:21

IHT forms will need to be done first and any tax paid promptly. Gov. Uk website has all the info you need.
Probate took 10 weeks for me with no complications.

Cabbie21 Fri 29-Dec-23 10:49:50

I should add that it took months to get the figures needed to be ready to apply. Probate was granted in early November, I think, but it will be a few more months before distribution will be completed.

Whiff Fri 29-Dec-23 11:15:23

Franbern even with a simple will it can take 6-12 months. It all depends on solicitors involved . If any family disputes that may occur. Plus any back log at probate department because of Christmas and new year and if staffing levels are low.

Scribbles Fri 29-Dec-23 11:21:13

Even when probate is granted, the mills can grind exceedingly slow.
My husband died in January 2020 leaving a straightforward will and all affairs in good order. My daughter and I are executors.
Probate was granted in November of 2020 during the lockdowns but, nearly 4 years on, his estate has still not been settled.
Thanks to foot-dragging by a firm of stockbrokers and what appears to be total incompetence by a pension provider, I still don't know the bottom line!
So, Franbern, don't be surprised if it all takes much, much longer than you think.

aonk Fri 29-Dec-23 11:27:52

My neighbour’s husband died on January 31st. She got on quickly with all the necessary paperwork but still doesn’t have probate. Fortunately for her she has no intention of selling her house so is happy to wait.

Katie59 Fri 29-Dec-23 15:56:50

A will where everything is left to the surviving spouse is straightforward, but when there is a lot of property probate can get complicated .

grandMattie Fri 29-Dec-23 18:03:56


A will where everything is left to the surviving spouse is straightforward, but when there is a lot of property probate can get complicated .

I applied for probate 15 weeks ago for an extremely straightforward Will. My late husband left everything to me.
Still not heard anything. Is it still “due to Covid” ?
When my son died intestate last year, they took 6 months to give Letters of Administration….
I’m not holding my breath!

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 29-Dec-23 18:13:25

When my mother died a few years ago she hadn’t changed her will to take account of her remarriage (after my father died) and the fact she wanted to leave half of her estate to to my brother, sister and me. So my stepfather had his solicitor create (?) a Deed of Variation. The whole thing took over a year as my brother and sister live in Australia and the solicitor was undergoing treatment for cancer. We got there in the end.

Iam64 Fri 29-Dec-23 18:20:05

Ours was straightforward, we had a Will which divided the estate in a way there was no opposition to. 9 months after the application, I phoned the relevant department. I was told it could be escalated because 20 weeks had past. It was concluded within 3 weeks

Jaxjacky Fri 29-Dec-23 18:33:28

My Mum died in September 2019, dispersements were made thirteen months later, there were various bonds and investments to be released.

Cabbie21 Sat 30-Dec-23 07:48:37

As Iam64 said, the Probate Office will tell you when they have everything they need. Then the countdown starts. I was told not to contact them before 16 weeks, then at that point they will escalate it. I did not reach 16 weeks. I think mine was ten or eleven. They are short staffed.

Franbern Sun 31-Dec-23 16:01:41

Thanks to everyone who has replied. I know that my son is well on top of all of this. I get nothing, all goes to our five adult children, which I am more than happy about. Just wanted to have some idea how long they will have to wait My son's wife is a chartered accountant, and she is obviously assisting him. They have also worked out approximately how much they will each get once IT is taken off. They say hope for six months and be prepared for longer.

Grantanow Fri 12-Jan-24 11:18:19

The Probate Registry emailed me today to acknowledge my application sent in last week and they said if no further information is required it will take 16 weeks (which is around the end of April). Hope that helps.

Primrose53 Fri 12-Jan-24 14:27:25

Took nearly 2 years for us as someone put a Caveat on the application and it was a nightmare.

haighsue Fri 12-Jan-24 16:49:18

My stepmother died in March last year, having lived for 35 years in a house belonging to my father, who died 35 years ago. The house was left to me and my niece ( my brother died some years ago). She is executor. Probate was applied for late in April. The house was found to have some boundary issues which needed to be solved. In all it has taken almost nine months - probate was granted this week. The house has been sold, subject to all the required checks, so we hope all will be done within, hopefully, another month. Good luck!

haighsue Fri 12-Jan-24 16:50:35

Primrose 53, What is a caveat?

Georgesgran Fri 12-Jan-24 16:55:51

Best to google it haighsue
Although, in general speech, it means beware - there’s a slightly different meaning in law, especially with regard to Probate.

Primrose53 Fri 12-Jan-24 18:09:26


Primrose 53, What is a caveat?

Yes, to be sure google it but in my own words it is something that spiteful, jealous or troublemaking people can put on your probate application for just £3 and it causes endless stress and worry.

The caveat stays on for 6 months during which time you can try to get them to remove it but if they are pigheaded they can renew it again for just another £3. What a ridiculous outdated amount that is! What do you get for £3 these days, especially in the legal world. Maybe if it was considerably more it might make them think twice.

Because I had done nothing wrong whatsoever and had provided the caveator with everything they asked for (actually more than they were entitled to legally) the application was approved but it took nearly two years. They on the other hand refused to reply to my letters or requests just so they could string things out as long as possible. I got the last laugh though because they had to pay the legal fees! 🤣

Grantanow Tue 05-Mar-24 10:15:52

I've just heard from the Registry that my probate application has been approved. That was after 8 weeks. When I applied I was told it would be 16 weeks so I'm pleased. I need to wait 10 days for the documents to arrive.

henetha Tue 05-Mar-24 10:19:54

I think it partly depends on where you live. When my husband died it was very quick and efficient. We are in Devon.
But with my sister who died last September and lived near London, her son is still waiting.

Primrose53 Tue 05-Mar-24 10:38:59


I've just heard from the Registry that my probate application has been approved. That was after 8 weeks. When I applied I was told it would be 16 weeks so I'm pleased. I need to wait 10 days for the documents to arrive.

You will probably receive them tomorrow! That’s what happened to me.

Cabbie21 Tue 05-Mar-24 10:40:33

The documents may well arrive in under ten days but it depends on Royal Mail. They don’t come by Special Delivery or Signed for, just ordinary post,