How long does Probate take is a common question people ask and in reality, there is no definite answer to this as each and every deceased person`s estate is unique to them.
Currently, we are experiencing a Covid pandemic with thousands of unforeseen deaths due to this deadly virus. The pandemic has without a doubt further exacerbated and delayed the Probate process. Firstly, we have experienced lockdowns and many Solicitors and Accountants have been away from their offices unable to see their clients face to face over the past year.
Secondly, the extra death toll due to Covid has put an immense strain on both the Legal Profession and the Probate Registry.
This has been further compounded by the new online system set up for Probate matters which has not been without its own initial problems causing further delay.
All of this has led to extra pressure and further delays which has only added to the stress and anxiety of those dealing with a loss of a loved one and trying to navigate their way through the Probate process.
Other delays experienced can however in most cases have been avoided these include:
Not making a Will or not leaving clear instructions where your Will is stored leading to problems of trying to locate the Will all which lead to further delays.
You should when dealing with the deceased`s estate use your best efforts to try to locate their Will before relying on the Rules of Intestacy which will then decide how the deceased`s assets are to be distributed and this is often not what the deceased would have wanted.
If you are only able to locate a copy of their Will then this can be used but only when those affected adversely by it (ie; namely those who would stand to inherit under the deceased`s Intestacy Rules) agree.
Obviously, both of the above situations can take a while to resolve and can lead to time consuming delays for those administering the Estate.
Further delays can be caused by disagreements and disputes as to the validity of the Will itself or even the death of a sole executor where the deceased`s executor under the chain of Representation would need to take over.
All of these issues will lead to sometimes lengthy delays it is therefore important to consider all of the above which can cause delays in the Probate process.
Obviously, Covid was unforeseen and such delays are unavoidable but for other reasons discussed it is worth considering how easily they could be avoided with the correct legal advice.
We are here to help and advise so that you can avoid such problems from professionally drafting your Will, to helping guide you expertly through the Probate process so that such delays are avoided and kept to a minimum.