Obtaining probate is not a quick process. It will normally take twelve months to administer an estate, depending upon the complexity and value of the estate. However, current delays at HMRC and the probate registry mean that the process is taking even longer and several months can be added onto the overall timescale.
Before an application for a grant of probate can be made, it is necessary for personal representatives to value all of the estate assets and complete an inheritance tax return.
The tax form you need complete depends on if inheritance tax is due on the estate. If inheritance tax is due, then an application for a grant of probate cannot be submitted to the probate registry until HMRC issue a receipted form. HMRC aim to issue a receipted form within ten working days of receiving the inheritance tax return. However, personal representatives and solicitors are experiencing delays of up to eight weeks before HMRC will issue a receipt. Delays are also being experienced at the probate registry, with applications taking up to eight weeks to be granted.
The delays are due to the increased volume of work that HMRC have received and changes at the probate registry, including the introduction of a new online application system and re-structuring.
Once probate is granted, personal representatives can start to sell the estate assets, pay liabilities and make payments to the beneficiaries under the will or intestacy.
If you are experiencing any difficulties or have any questions Beers’ friendly and helpful team is always willing to help and are happy to hear from you. Simply contact us on 01548 857000 and 01752 246000, or look at our website www.beersllp.com.