How long will it take to wind up the Estate?

We are often asked how it will take to wind up an Estate. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately predict the timescales of completion of an executry. This usually depends on the size and complexity of the estate, the number of people due to inherit and any unexpected issues which may arise.  Timing in these matters is dependent upon a number of factors beyond our control such as an Intestate estate (no will); Inheritance Tax Valuations; House to be sold/transferred; Prior/Legal Rights claims; Missing Beneficiaries, creditor claims etc.

There are essentially 6 stages in administering an estate as follows:-

  1. The Initial Investigations
  2. Establishing the extent of the estate
  3. Establishing the tax position
  4. Obtaining Confirmation
  5. Ingathering the Estate, payment of debts including any Legal Rights claims and sale or transfer of any property
  6. Accounting and Finalisation

It is therefore impossible to give a “one size fits all” answer to this question. Generally, in straightforward cases where an estate is not liable to Inheritance Tax, an estate can be wound up within six to nine months. However as every estate is different this is merely a guide.

It is worth noting that Creditors have a period of six months in which to lodge a claim against the estate. In line with the Law Society Guidelines it is our practice that estates are not distributed until the expiry of the six month period from the date of death. Should a claim be made against the estate within six months and the residue has already been distributed then the Executors would be personally liable.

Should you have any questions on the winding up of an estate contact our Lesley Iannarelli on Lesley@caritaslegal.co.uk or 07597 572664

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