After someone has died sometimes the last thing anyone wants to do is to arrange Probate. As a result of this, we are frequently contacted by relatives many months after someone has died asking questions as to whether there are time limits for probate.

So what are the most important deadlines that you need to be aware of  if undertaking probate ?

Here are the most common asked questions :-

Is there a time limit to apply for probate ?

There is strictly no time limit to applying for probate however there are important time limits to filing an Inheritance tax return ( see below ) if the Executor or Administrator fails to apply for probate promptly there is always the risk that issues could arise in regard to the assets and liabilities, whilst very often delays in applying for probate can lead to actions being taken against Executors which is always best to avoid.

Is there a time limit for filing an inheritance tax return ?

If the estate is subject to inheritance tax ie. above £325,000 and tax is due a return has to be filed within 6 months of the date of death, and tax paid.

In our experience 6 months always sounds a long time but in practice it is not – given Inheritance tax rules it is always sensible to seek legal assistance in those cases involving a potential tax liability. we have helped clients save thousands !

Is there a time limit for the executors distributing an estate ?

If the executors fail to distribute legacies after 12 months – a beneficiary can argue for interest to be paid at the appropriate statutory rate.

Why have I been told to wait six months for my inheritance?

Claims can be made against an estate under the Inheritance ( FPD ) Act 1975. These claims have a time limit of some six months from the date of when probate is issued, for this reason alot of professional executors often delay distributing until after the expiry of the six month limitation period.

I have seen a Notice in a newspaper whats this?

A statutory notice is a formal notice to any potential creditors to come forward and make a claim by a particular date – this is two months from the date of the notice.

Are there important time limits to making a claim against an estate ?

Yes and you should always seek legal advice however the key time limits to be aware of are as follows :-

I need some help

Unsure of a time limit or probate deadline ?

At TM solicitors we specialise in all aspects of probate and can help undertake probate for, call us now on 014282 429985 or contact tim.murden@tmsolicitors.co.uk