How long does probate take?

The term Probate is commonly used to refer to both the ‘Grant of Probate’ that gives the legal right to deal with the deceased’s assets, and also the whole process of administrating someone’s estate when they die.

Grant of Probate

If the estate left behind contains property or has a large value, then it is likely that the executor will have to apply for a Grant of Probate.

  • If the deceased left a will you will need to apply for a ‘grant of representation’.
  • If there is no valid will, you will apply for a ‘letter of representation’.

Once the relevant forms have been filled in, and the application filed (along with the £215 application fee), it usually takes 6-8 weeks for probate to be granted. This can take longer if the estate is particularly complicated.

Administration of the estate

The process of administrating someone’s estate after they die is a lengthy process that can become complex. For more information on the steps involved in this administration, see our blog post ‘What is probate?’.

Typically the probate process lasts from 6-9 months and takes approximately 80 working hours, however it is not uncommon for the proceedings to drag on into years due to complex estates and contested wills.

Using a lawyer for support during probate means you don’t have to give up all of this time yourself to administrate the estate. Furthermore, the expertise and experience offered by a legal professional could help you to avoid potential errors and challenges that would turn probate into an unnecessarily lengthy, drawn-out process.

For more on the probate service, please visit our Wills & Probate page.

About Talha Fazlani

Talha is the Head of Marketing & Operations at Freeman Harris Solicitors. He writes most of our content and would be the first person you deal with if you have a family law or intellectual property query.

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