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Going through probate can often be a stressful and anxious wait, particularly when grieving the loss of a loved one.
It’s worth noting that probate applications can take up to 16 weeks before being reviewed. Therefore, we have provided some straightforward tips to prevent any unnecessary delays when applying for probate.
It is essential you give an explanation as to who is applying for probate. If all executors are applying, you will need their full names and addresses. If an executor has decided to step down, called renouncing, you will need to provide the Probate Registry with the relevant signed form confirming this. Likewise, if an executor has died, you should explain this in your application. If an executor has married since the will was made, make sure you explain this and provide their up-to-date name on the application.
In all but a few very limited circumstances, you must have the original will when applying for probate, and this must be sent to the Probate Registry (the court that deals with probate applications) when sending in your application. Speak with the solicitors who prepared the will and request they send you the original document. They will often want to see some ID for you and the death certificate. If the will was made at home, search their residence to try and find the original document. If you can only find a signed copy, seek legal advice to see whether you can proceed with this. Whatever you do, do not staple, or unbind the original will.
Depending on the size of the estate you are dealing with, you may have to submit the inheritance tax paperwork first, and then HMRC will send this on to the Probate Registry to be matched up with your application. Make sure all figures match across both applications. If it has been longer than 20 working days and you have not heard anything from HMRC, make sure you give them a call to chase up whether it has been approved.
In conclusion, by following these practical tips, you can minimise delays and navigate the probate process more efficiently, providing peace of mind during this challenging time.
Are there any legal requirements that can cause delays in obtaining probate?
Yes, there are legal requirements that can cause delays in obtaining probate. The probate process involves the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate, which typically involves the validation of their will and the distribution of their assets to their beneficiaries.
In most jurisdictions, there are specific legal requirements that must be met before probate can be granted. These requirements may include filing the appropriate forms and documents, providing notice to interested parties, and obtaining a court order.
Additionally, probate proceedings can be delayed if there are disputes over the validity of the will, challenges to the appointment of the executor, or disagreements between beneficiaries regarding the distribution of the estate. In such cases, it may be necessary to resolve these issues through litigation, which can significantly prolong the probate process.
Other factors that may cause delays in obtaining probate include the complexity and size of the estate, and the availability of the necessary information and documentation. For example, if the deceased person had assets located in different countries or if there are complex tax issues involved, these can all contribute to delays in obtaining probate.
Are there any specific documents or information that I need to provide to avoid delays in the probate process?
Yes, there are specific documents and information that you need to provide to avoid delays in the probate process. The exact requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction, but generally, the following documents and information are required:
By providing these documents and information promptly and accurately, you can help avoid delays in the probate process. Additionally, hiring a probate lawyer can help ensure that all the necessary documents and information are provided and that the probate process is handled efficiently and effectively.
Can hiring a probate lawyer help me avoid delays in obtaining probate?
Yes, hiring a probate lawyer can help you avoid delays in obtaining probate. A probate lawyer is a legal professional who specialises in the probate process and can guide you through the legal requirements and procedures involved in obtaining probate.
By hiring a probate lawyer, you can ensure that all the necessary legal requirements are met and that the probate process is handled efficiently and effectively. A probate lawyer can assist you in filing the appropriate forms and documents, providing notice to interested parties, and obtaining a court order.
Moreover, a probate lawyer can help you avoid potential delays and complications by identifying and resolving any legal issues that may arise during the probate process. For example, if there are disputes over the validity of the will or disagreements between beneficiaries regarding the distribution of the estate, a probate lawyer can help you resolve these issues through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.
In addition, they can provide valuable advice and guidance throughout the probate process, such as advising you on tax implications and assisting with administrating the estate.
Overall, hiring a probate lawyer can help you navigate the probate process smoothly and efficiently, which can ultimately help you avoid delays and ensure the prompt distribution of the estate’s assets to its beneficiaries.
How long does the probate process typically take and can I expedite it?
The length of the probate process can vary depending on the complexity of the estate, the size of the assets, and the jurisdiction. In general, the probate process can take anywhere from several months to several years.
It typically involves several stages, including identifying and valuing the assets, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. Each stage of the process can take time, and delays can occur if there are disputes or other legal issues that need to be resolved.
However, there are steps you can take to expedite the probate process. One way to speed up the process is to work with a probate lawyer who has experience in handling probate matters. A probate lawyer can guide you through the process, help you identify and resolve any legal issues that may arise, and ensure that all legal requirements are met.
Another way to expedite the probate process is to provide all necessary documents and information promptly and accurately. This includes providing an accurate inventory of assets, a list of liabilities, and the names and contact information of all beneficiaries and executors. By providing this information upfront, you can help avoid delays further down the process.
In summary, the length of the probate process can vary, but there are steps you can take to expedite the process, such as working with a probate lawyer, providing all necessary documents and information promptly, and using alternative probate procedures when applicable.
My application has been stopped because a caveat has been placed, what does this mean?
A caveat is a notice to the court to prevent probate from being obtained by the executors. This is usually used where someone is questioning the validity of someone’s will, for example where they do not think the person making the will had mental capacity at the time of signing the will. It allows time for someone to take further advice, possibly gain evidence such as medical records, and potentially make a claim against the estate. If this has happened to you, we would strongly recommend you take legal advice at that point.
If you would like any more information or advice on probate applications, please contact us on 01332 226 162 or complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.
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