how long does probate take uk

How long does probate take in the UK in 2020

In this article, we will look at how long probate takes, the probate timeline and the period after which probate is granted.

The meaning of probate refers to the legal steps of reviewing a will with the aim of determining its validity and authenticity. It can also be defined as the general administration of a deceased person’s estate.

You can listen to an audio recording of this page on how long is probate if you find that easier than reading.

This audio recording can be found on Youtube. You can also listen to this article and many others on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

1 – How long does probate take?

On average probate usually takes up to 6 months to complete but can easily go past 12 months if the estate becomes complicated. The revenue and customs authority can take up to five months to process capital gains tax and the inheritance tax.

You should pay the inheritance tax to make sure the process takes the shortest time possible to complete.

2 – How long does grant of probate take?

After swearing an oath, the Grant Of Probate will be received in 3-4 weeks. After that, the process will take between 6 to 12 months, with 9 being the average length of the probate timeline.

Here is a short video that explains a little more about how long does grant of probate take?


how long does probate take after a death

3 – How long does probate take after a death?

Typically, after death, probate will take between 6 to 12 months with 9 months being the average time for probate to complete.   If there is a Will in place and the estate is relatively straightforward it can be done within 6 months.  If there is no Will or the Estate can not easily be valued or identified then it can take 12 months and longer.

4 – Is there a probate time limit?

In England & Wales, there are no time limits for the probate process.   However, there are other aspects of the probate process, such as settling inheritance tax issues, that do have timescales attached.   When applying for probate you first need to make sure you have a grant of probate.   This allows you to deal with their affairs.

When it comes to inheritance tax, this must be deal with within 6 months of the date of death.

5 –  What is the probate process

Usually, as part of the probate process, the court appoints an individual who is also called an executor named in the deceased’s will mainly if there’s no Will of garnering the assets, paying the remaining liabilities on the individual’s estate, alongside distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.

Here is a short video explaining what probate is and what it costs.



6 – Who is allowed to apply for probate?

The testator usually appoints the person who should serve as the executor. If the will of the testator doesn’t nominate such a person, it won’t be possible for one party to apply for probate. In such instances, one of the beneficiaries is allowed to apply for legal documents allowing them to act as administrators.

7 – What is a Grant of Representation?

A grant of representation is a legal document that an individual should acquire to deal with the deceased person’s estate.

This document confirms your legal status and your ability to deal with all things related to the Estate of the person that has died.   You should also note that the grant of representation may still be needed irrespective of whether the person that died left a Will.

8 – What Is the Cost of Probate?

You can read more about the costs of probate here.

In essence, the costs are split into two parts.  There is the fixed fee that you pay to the government and then there is the fee that you pay to a solicitor or probate specialist to deal with all matters.

The fixed fees changed from April 2019.  At present, there is a £215 cost for a probate application fee made by an individual or £155 for applications made by a probate solicitor or specialist.

The fees for using a solicitor or probate specialist will typically range from between 3% to 5% plus VAT.  As an example, if your estate is worth £500,000, then costs will range from £15,000 to £25,000 plus VAT.

Generally, the probate application progress determines the cost, as the longer to goes and the more time the probate specialist has to spend the higher the cost.

Therefore the probate cost will vary depending on the deceased person’s assets and property value. Generally, as you can see, the higher the value of the asset, the more the probate costs.

probate application progress

 9 – What is the probate valuation?

When a person dies, the assets they owned, including money and property should be evaluated prior to issuing a grant to the executor. This has to be done so you can establish whether there is any inheritance tax owed.

This should be worked on before the assets of the deceased are handed over to the beneficiaries.

10 – What is the Role of the Probate Registry

The Probate Registry is part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service. Its role is to issue the grants of representation.  As outlined above, this is the legal document that you need to have the legal right to deal with the Estate of the person that has died.

11 – What if you have a Contentious Probate?

It may be challenging for an executor to deal with the administration of an asset. Whether the deal revolves around the beneficiary or an executor, working with a team of solicitors who can contend contentious probate will come in handy for both parties.

Contentious probate refers to a clash relating to the administration of the deceased person’s assets. It may entail an argument over how the will is being interpreted or working with prosecutors who barely understand their role in the administration of the will.

How we can help you with Probate

No upfront costs |  Fixed fees for peace of mind | 3 different levels of help available

The UK Care Guide has partnered with Trust Inheritance, one of the UK’s leading probate specialists, to bring you a cost-effective and premium level probate service.  Trust Inheritance have won awards for their customer service and this is a key reason as to why we have partnered with them.  

We realise that for many it is essential that probate is completed quickly.  That is why their dedicated service is designed to speed things up as much as possible for you and consequently reduce the time it takes for probate to be completed.

The support can be broken down into 3 options.  This allows you to choose how involved you want to be in the probate process and how much support you want.  This really is one of the most flexible services that we have seen.

Option 1 – “Give me a little help” 

Who is this option best for

This option allows those who want to do as much as they can themselves, safe in the knowledge that there is a specialist on hand to help throughout the process.

What help is provided

This is an in-depth, comprehensive, online ‘Do it Yourself’ service, giving you everything you need to ensure you have dealt with the estate in line with your responsibilities and liability as a personal representative; while being supported throughout by our award-winning team of specialist Bereavement Advisers.

This toolkit can be used whether a Grant of Representation (also known as the Grant of Probate, Administration or Confirmation) is required or not, even if a Will was not left. 

Option 2 – “Give me lots of help” 

Who is this option best for

This option would suit someone who is busy with work or family life and still wishes to retain control of dealing with the estate. It would also suit those who are not familiar or confident with legal documents.

What help is provided

In addition to all the benefits of those in option 1 above, we will also Fast Track the Grant of Representation application.

As we are a Trust Corporation, less information is required by the Courts when we apply for the Grant on your behalf.

This means Court fees are reduced saving money against the estate and crucially, the Grant is expedited and issued within weeks of application, rather than months; quickly freeing up funds to cover costs and expenses, as well as allowing interim payments to be made to those who are due to benefit much sooner.

Option 3 – “Do it all for me” 

Who is this option best for

This option is ideal for those who do not feel comfortable with the processes and what is involved when dealing with an estate, or for those who simply do not have the time available to them.

What help is provided

Simply hand everything over to a specialist. You will be assigned a Solicitor, who will deal with the entire matter for you and will be on hand throughout. They will cover everything needed in order to finalise the Estate Administration and to ensure your legal responsibilities are adhered to.

What you need to do next – Book a free consultation

You may already know which of the three options is best suited to your circumstances.  However, we also recognise that this is likely a difficult time for the family and that you may not know what you want to do.

Therefore, please do get in touch for a free consultation to talk you through what you need to do next and what help they can provide.  

Speak to someone to get the support and help you need with probate.  Here is how:

1 – For free initial advice call a Probate Specialist now on – 0800 840 1187

2 – Book an appointment for a call with a Probate Specialist below


3 – Leave your contact details below and we will get in touch

Apply for probate


Summary of the page

1 - How much does it cost to go through probate in the United Kingdom?

The cost will depend on whether you use a probate solicitor, probate professional or a bank. The cheapest is a probate professional. For it to be done properly the costs can typically be anything from £1,000 upwards.

2 - Who can help me through the probate process to make sure it's done correctly?

Firstly, you are able to undertake the probate process yourself. However, most people prefer to get help. You can approach a solicitor or probate professional. The bank can help but they tend to be very expensive. We work with Co-op Legal Services if you need help to do things quickly and cost effectively.

3 - How much money before probate is required?

The threshold for Probate is usually around £15,000. However, this depends on which banks and financial institutions are holding the deceased person's assets. Therefore we recommend you seek legal advice to check whether or not Probate is required.

4 - How long does probate take to do in the UK?

There is no fixed time for the probate process. However, it would typically take between 6 and 12 months. But there are many factors that impact this and when any potential inheritance is released. You can read more about these factors on our site.

5 - When is probate not required?

When someone passes away, it is not automatic that you need to go through a probate process. Estates that have a low value or are made up of assets that were jointly owned do not always require probate.



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Would you like help to get Probate done quickly? If so, we can help you do that. 

Leave your details to be contacted directly. 

Call Us On

0800 840 1187


Do you want to get probate done QUICKLY and for the LOWEST COST possible? If so, we have teamed up with Trust Inheritance to exclusively offer you some of the lowest charges in the UK.    



You can speak to us on

0800 840 1187

Leave your contact details below and we will contact you

You can book an appointment for a specialist to call you when it's conveniant for you

All probate advice and support is provided in conjunction with Trust Inheritance.