Is There a Time Limit on Probate?
On top of the emotional turmoil you must grapple with after losing a loved one, you also have to deal with their estate. With so much going on, it can be challenging to figure out the right time to apply for probate. This article answers the question, “Is there a time limit on probate?” and guides you on how to go about the whole process.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal procedure of determining the validity and authenticity of a will. Probate also means the general administration of the deceased’s will or the execution of the estate in case there is no will. Administration includes all the work of using the deceased’s assets to pay off creditors and then distributing what remains to the beneficiaries.
Since the administration of a deceased’s estate is a legal procedure, you can only perform that duty once you have the legal authorization that comes with a grant of probate. You can only apply for a grant of probate if you are mentioned as the person to administer the estate in a will or if you are a close living relative in case there is no will.
When should you apply for probate?
You can only apply for probate once the estate owner passes on. However, there is no time limit on when you can apply for probate. Keep in mind, though, that execution or administration of the estate is only possible after the grant of probate. As such, you should apply for probate as soon as possible.
What factors affect probate?
You’ll need the original will to apply for probate. Most close relatives or spouses have copies of a will, while the original is in safe custody with the deceased’s solicitors or the bank. These institutions will contact the named executor when the time comes.
Some named executors may be unable or unwilling to apply for probate. Inability to apply may be due to death or insufficient mental capacity. An unwilling party may not be ready to bear the responsibility of executing the will’s directives. Either way, this complicates the situation.
A will may have technical challenges, such as missing signatures of the deceased and witnesses at the bottom of each page. Similarly, the deceased may have had different names on different legal documents, further complicating the situation.
There might be a caveat on probate. If another party challenges the validity of the will, its directives, or your legal position in applying for probate, the process will take longer than expected. Furthermore, your application for probate may not be successful.
Is there a time limit on probate?
Technically, there’s no time limit on probate. However, the need to complete the execution of the will should motivate the appointed executioner to get on with it as fast as possible. If there are complications like a challenge on the probate or technical issues with the will, you will have ample time to resolve the problem. In such cases, you’ll need the right expertise to help you iron out those issues. Get in touch with us today to find out more about is there a time limit on probate, arrange a free claim assessment and let us help you handle this process in the smoothest possible way.