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Inheritance tax

How long does probate take – All the key questions answered

Probate refers to the legal process 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.

In this guide, we will analyse the concept of probate and the period after which probate is granted.

1 – What is Probate?

Usually, 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.

2 – How Long Does Probate Take?

Many families are still wondering how long does probate take once submitted.

After the oath swearing, the grant of probate usually takes between 3-4 weeks to be received. The remaining probate process usually takes up to six months to complete but can easily go pat 12 months.

The revenue and customs authority can take up to five months to process capital gains tax and the inheritance tax. You should pay inheritance tax to make sure the process takes the shortest time possible to complete.

Here is short video that explains a little more about how long probate takes.

3 – What Is the Cost of Probate?

You can read more about the costs of probate here.

In essence the costs are split in to 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 are going to change 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.

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.

4 – 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.

5 – 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.

6 – What is the timeframe to apply for probate?

In England & Wales there are no time limits for the probate application.   However, there are other aspects of the 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.

Probate case

7 – How long does probate take after a death?

Typically it 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 sometimes longer.

 8 – 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.

9 – 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 dies.

10 – 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.

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