Grant of Probate Delays
If you’re handling probate as (or on behalf of) an executor you’ve probably suffered from the chronic delays currently being experienced. Caused at the start of the year by the implementation of a new system alongside a reduction of staff, the teams trying to handle the back-log of Grant of Probate applications must be exhausted; word is, some days, they won’t even answer the phone.
That’s not entirely surprising. If every call is chasing up an old application, they must spend so much time tracking down old files that actually completing anything will be almost impossible and pressure like that will cause all kinds of stress which, in turn, leads to errors, oversights and yet more delays. An incredibly frustrating situation for everyone involved, requiring endless patience.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Although a little slower than usual, they are dealing with new applications first so, if you’re just starting on an Estate, you may not be affected too much. We’ve also been advised that, if the sale of a probate property is at risk of falling through, the Grant of Probate office will do their best to get those applications approved first.
At Executor Solutions we usually start marketing properties shortly after the owner passes on, so that funds become available to beneficiaries as soon as possible. This can sometimes result in exchange and completion being ready to go before the Grant of Probate has been awarded. If a chain of purchase is at risk of collapsing because the Executor is still not legally able to sell the probate property, it’s worth getting in touch with them. We can provide any evidence required to prove the urgency and, from what we understand, they try their best to get the paperwork finalised to let the sale go through.
Typically, probate takes between six and twelve months from date of death to complete – assuming there was a valid Will and no one is contesting its contents.