If you are a beneficiary under a valid Will or under the Governments rules on intestacy if there is no Will, expecting an inheritance, one of the common questions you will want to know the answer to is “How Long After Probate Is Granted Does It Take To Receive Inheritance?”.
Technically, if there is no valid Will, you will receive your inheritance after ‘Letters of Administration’ are issued. These have the exact same purpose as the ‘Grant Of Probate’, but are named differently to reflect the fact that there is no Will.
In both cases, how long after probate or letters of administration is granted does it take to receive inheritance?
The Different Stages Of Probate
It is important to understand the full process of probate, so that you understand why it takes so long to receive your inheritance after probate is granted.
Here are the main steps in the probate process:
- Complete the application for probate and submit to the probate registry.
- The probate registry checks the application and if all is in order, probate is granted.
- Once granted, the first thing that the executors must do is to collect in all of the assets of the deceased’s estate.
- Once they are all collected in, the executors must settle all debts and liabilities.
- Once all of the above has taken place, the estate is then finally distributed to the beneficiaries.
Let’s look at each of them in turn.
Completing The Probate Application.
The probate application involves completion of the right probate forms, estimating the value of items of the estate (such as the value of any property) and then submitting this to the probate registry. It can take some time to obtain valuations to support the application.
The Probate Registry Checks The Probate Application
Once received, the Probate Registry ensures that the application is completed correctly. If it is not, it will be returned for completion.
If all is in order and is straightforward, Grant of Probate (Will) or Letters Of Administration (no Will) usually takes eight to twelve weeks.
Collect In The Assets Of The Estate
Once probate is granted, the executors use the document to prove that they are entitled to collect in assets, such as close bank accounts, premium bonds and sell the biggest asset, the house.
Clearly, the house sale creates the biggest chance of delays, as until that is collected in, and any mortgage or equity release repaid, inheritances cannot be paid out.
Some house sales may take many months or years, but there is a further complication if Inheritance Tax is due, as this must be paid within six months of the death of the deceased, or interest becomes payable, reducing the amount of inheritance to be distributed!
Paying The Debts And Liabilities Due
The key payment is to clear any inheritance tax liability due within six months of the deceased’s death, to avoid interest becoming payable, if this is possible.
Then all other debts must be paid.
The biggest risk of delay here is selling the property. A normal property will normally sell within a few months, depending on the state of the property market at the time, but often flats or apartments in wardened accommodation can take a lot longer.
Until the property sale is completed and the debts paid, the beneficiaries will have to wait to receive their inheritance.
How Long After Probate Is Granted Does It Take To Receive Inheritance?
You can see that there are many factors to consider, with the biggest ones being the sale of the property and payment of inheritance tax.
The beneficiaries really do come last, and may receive their money in:
- A few months if there is no property to sell;
- Around six to nine months if there is a standard property to sell; or
- 12 months or more if there is a complicated property sale.