how long does probate take uk

This article was last updated on January 1, 2022. 


How long does probate take in the UK in 2022

In this article, we will provide more information on how long probate takes in the UK, the probate timeline and the period after which probate is granted.

1 – What is probate?

The term ‘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.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

2 – How long does probate take?

On average the process usually takes up to 6 months to complete but can easily take longer, even 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 promptly to make sure the process takes the shortest time possible to complete.

3 – How long does grant of probate take?

After swearing an oath, the Grant Of Probate will be received by the probate registry in 3-4 weeks. After that, the process will take between 6 months to a year, with 9 months being the average length of time it takes to complete the process.

Here is a short video that gives a little more information about how long it will take to apply for a grant of probate:

4 – How long does probate take after a death?

Typically, after death, the process will take between 6 months to a year, with 9 months being the average time for probate to complete.  Probate timescales will depend on the complexity and size of the estate. 

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 the process may take longer, likely more than 12 months.

5 – Is there a time limit when applying for probate?

In England & Wales, there are no time limits for the process or applying for a grant probate. However, there are other aspects of the probate process and administering the estate, 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 estate.

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

6 –  What is the probate process and timeline

Usually, as part of the probate process, the court appoints an individual who is called an executor, which will be the person named in the deceased’s will. They will be responsible for the estate administration, so will consider what to do with the estate and the person’s bank accounts according to the information in the deceased’s will.

This includes garnering the assets, paying the remaining liabilities on the individual’s estate out of the deceased’s bank accounts and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.

7 – 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.

8 – 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 if they are not the executor in the will.

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.

9 – What Is the Cost of Probate?

You can get more information 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 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. You should get a quote from a solicitor for your estate, which will be based off the information you provide in the probate questionnaire.

10 – What is a 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 information has to be provided by the executor 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.

11 – What is the Role of the Probate Registry

The Probate Registry is part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service. It’s role is to issue the grants of representation.  As outlined in the information 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.

12 – What if you have a Contentious Probate?

It may be challenging for an executor to deal with the administration of the estate of a loved one. Whether the dispute revolves around the beneficiary or an executor, working with a team of probate 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 scenarios including arguments over how the will is being interpreted or working with prosecutors who barely understand their role in the administration of the will. Clearly in circumstances where the administration of a will is contended in probate court, the process of estate administration will take longer.

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 or call them now

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 your options, what you need to do next and what help we 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 

3 – Leave your contact details, and someone will get in touch

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Or, leave your details below and we will contact you

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Have a free consultation a Probate specialist.

We work with with Trust Inheritance for them to bring you their market leading Probate support. They offer a range of support giving you full control of how much or little you want to do.  

If you would like some help, please leave your details below and someone will be in touch.

Or you can call them directly on 0800 840 1187

probate timeline

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.

Meet the author

Rob Atherton

Rob Atherton

Rob writes and edits the content produced by the rest of the team. He has a degree in History from Leeds University and has producing, reviewing and editing the site since 2016

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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.

Do you need some help with Probate? If so, arrange a free consultation to see how we can help

0800 840 1187


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