Losing a loved one can be devastating but unfortunately it is something we will all have to deal with in our lives.
It can sometimes come with unfamiliar situations. The winding up of an estate is something which many people feel falls into this category. As it is not a situation many people are used to dealing with, there can be a lot of questions to answer. Perhaps the most common question is around the time it takes to wind up an estate.
How Long Does It Take To Wind Up An Estate?
Truth be told, there is no standard answer to this question. Each estate is different and has its own specific facts. Although a definitive answer is hard to give, an estate could take six to twelve months to wind up if everything is straightforward, but what factors could affect the length of time it takes to wind up an estate?
The Deceased’s Will
This is one of the major factors which impacts on how long most estates take to wind up. If the deceased left a Will, the executors’ identity is known and if they accept the executorship they could administer the estate.
It gets trickier if no Will has been left. The legal process to appoint suitable executors with no Will in place can be time consuming. This can mean the winding up of an estate can take longer.
Dealing With The Assets
After the executors are appointed, they must compile a full list of the deceased’s assets and liabilities. They may then make an application to the Probate Registry for a Grant. If there is Inheritance Tax to pay, it will take longer as there is more work to be done.
The Court’s Timescale
Another factor which can impact on the timeframe in winding up an estate is how quick the court takes to deal with the application. Larger estates, usually more than £325,000, could take longer as they may require additional forms to be filed with HMRC first.
Inheritance Tax may be payable on estates in excess of £325,000. It must be said that the rules around Inheritance Tax can be complicated. This means it can take time to work out how much tax (if any) is due and whether any exemptions apply.
Using Specialist Solicitors
As you can see, there are many factors which can influence the time it takes to wind up an estate. With this in mind, it is normally best to let a specialist handle the administration process. They can give more personal advice on specific timescales and even help to speed up the process. An experienced solicitor can help to make the whole process quicker and easier to deal with.
Here at Bowsers Solicitors we are experts in winding up estates. From our offices in Wisbech and March we have been helping support and guide people in this area for many years. Please get in touch should you wish to speak to one of our team.