How Long After Probate Can Funds Be Distributed in the UK

How Long After Probate Can Funds Be Distributed in the UK?

Probate is the judicial process of dealing with an individual’s estate after they have died, but how long after probate can funds be distributed in the UK? Well, the process involves having a will validated and approved by the courts to stand as a legitimate last testament of the person who has died. Essentially, it is a process by which permission is granted to ensure the wishes outlined in the last will and testament are carried out.

The process includes:

The management of the deceased’s property

The closing of their bank accounts

The transfer or realising of other investments/possessions, a.k.a. assets

Anyone who leaves a will when they die names an individual to administer the estate. This person is known as the executor of the will.

Who can apply for probate?

Only certain individuals qualify for an application for probate, and it depends on whether a will was left. A will typically outlines instructions for dealing with the estate. If a will is present, you can submit an application for probate if you are a named executor in the will.

If applying for probate is not something you wish to do and no other executors are named, the local probate office will be able to advise you on your options. The original copy of the will is required, along with any updates – photocopies are not acceptable for applying for probate.

The administrator deals with the estate if no will was left – a spouse, civil partner or child can apply to become the administrator. With a successful application, you will receive administration letters proving your legal entitlement to manage the estate. It may also be possible to contest a will after probate.

How long after probate can funds be distributed in the UK?

After the issuing of the Grant of Probate, it usually takes between three and six months for funds to be released to the beneficiaries. Where the estate is more complex, it can take considerably longer.

There are many reasons why it might be necessary for a solicitor to keep hold of funds after probate is granted. This could be because of certain legal steps that need to be taken, or perhaps because of the complexity of the estate.

The probate process looks roughly like this:

1. Registration of death

2. Establish whether a will exists

3. Application for a Grant of Probate and calculation of inheritance tax

4. Inform all organisations connected with the deceased so accounts can be closed

5. Pay off outstanding debts (if the funds are available to do so)

6. Claim on life insurance (if applicable)

7. Calculate the total value of the deceased’s estate and assets

8. Distribute the remaining assets

Final thoughts

We hope this post has been helpful in answering how long after probate can funds be distributed in the UK. If you’re currently in the middle of probation and wish to dispute something in the will, Will Claim may be able to help. Contact us for a free claim assessment if you need help contesting wills.