There have been recent reports of an inheritance issue brewing across the UK, as long probate is causing people to struggle with funeral costs when a loved one passes away.
Research from Tower Street Finance has shown thirty percent of individuals in the UK have admitted they would not be able to afford to give their loved one a funeral.
Part of this problem arises from the fact many are reliant upon an inheritance from their loved one who has passed away to cover the all-important costs. One in seven of individuals asked said they would rely on an inheritance from the person who has passed away to cover funeral costs.
But with a long probate process, which happens often, it is unlikely individuals will get access to the funds they need within the time necessary.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal and financial process that deals with the property, money, and possessions of someone when they die. When a person dies, before the executor of their Will can distribute their estate, they must apply for probate. After the court grants probate, the next of kin or executor can then deal with the deceased’s assets.
If a person dies without a Will, then the law decides who inherits everything that person owns. They follow the Rules of Intestacy to determine this. It is usually a spouse of the deceased.
Probate is usually needed in England or Wales when:
- The person who died owned property (houses, buildings or land)
- A bank or other financial institution asks for a grant of probate or grant of letters of administration (also called a grant of representation)
How long does Probate Take?
In England and Wales, it can take up to a year to complete probate. This depends on the assets and if there is a valid Will. In most cases HMRC conduct a thorough review of the Inheritance Tax information the executor provides.
Probate can involve many hours of detailed administrative work, including calculating Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, and other legal work.
Although the Probate process itself can be relatively straightforward with often only a few forms to be completed, the rest of the procedure that happens before this can be very time consuming.
Typically, it can take 6 to 9 months for beneficiaries to receive inheritance. However there can be delays, causing long probate. Examples of these delays include:
- Selling shares, property, and foreign assets
- Finding missing beneficiaries
- Placing advertisements for potential claimants to come forward
- Investigations by the Department for Work and Pensions
- Claiming on a life insurance policy
How We Can Help
Here at The Inheritance Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with all manner of inheritance claims. Contact us by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138763 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.