“Creakingly” slow probate process delaying property sales

“Creakingly” slow probate process delaying property sales

A London estate agent has blamed the low take up of wills solicitor staff shortages and the covid pandemic for the current “creakingly” slow probate process.

Talking to the industry magazine, The Negotiator, Nina Harrison of the firm Haringtons said additional delays had added to the problem of buying and selling properties. An already lengthy process which can often delay properties going onto the market or being listed for auction, faces additional issues – a shortage of staff to process wills, coupled with an increased workload because of Covid-19 deaths and an increased dependency of residential care.

While Covid is definitely a factor, there is also the underlying problem of so few people having a valid and up to date will in place. Some 59 percent of people in the UK don’t have a will, and some 39 percent of 65–74-year-olds don’t have one.

Probate process dragged out

Ms Harrison added that her family had recently been involved in the sale of a family home to a young family in London. Fortunately, the family had not been in a hurry to move in, but the probate process dragged out, and by the time they do get the keys, it will have gone on for 21 months, and that is before important refurbishment work is completed.

Finders International set up its own estate agent practice in 2020, which specialises in rapid probate property sales and services. We organise and monitor property services and can move instructions easily, for example, from an estate agent sale to an auction or by seeking bids from property developers and cash buyers.

The service is bespoke, and it provides clients with a single point of contact and a prompt, flexible and efficient process. Estate agent fees are often a concern, but our services are charged to the estate, not to any individual, and offer protection to the administrator from any later claims by acting in accordance with existing regulations.

Additional services for probate sales

Probate property can often be in need of additional services, and we clear the property and will search for a Will, along with any other relevant legal documents. We will also identify any valuable items than can be auctioned off and their value added to the estate.

The property conveyancing is carried out by our SRA regulated panel solicitors or in conjunction with the instructing firm’s department.
In addition, we are approved by Aviva (AVIVA Empty Property Insurance) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide a range of insurance policies.

To refer a property for disposal or to order an initial valuation, please email or call one our RICS accredited Property Sales & Service Managers, Saida Abasheikh (020 3859 4418) or Michael Jermy (020 3887 9218) or call the switchboard on 020 7490 4935.


This article was submitted to be published by Finders International as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

Finders International












Finders International were established in 1997 by Managing Director Danny Curran. We trace missing heirs and beneficiaries to Estates, property, funds and assets worldwide. We also provide a range of Legal Support services and International Asset services including overseas bankruptcy services and Medallion Signature Guarantees. Within the private sector, we work with numerous Solicitors, Accountants, Corporate or State Trustees and financial institutions. In the public sector we assist local authorities, coroners and others in tracing next of kin.

For two years running, we have been awarded ‘Best UK Probate Research Firm’ for 2019 and 2020 at the UK Probate Research awards.

Our MD is known as the industry spokesman with over 100 media contributions; Forbes Magazine, The Times, UK nationals, ITV’s This Morning to list a few. Our aim is to positively promote the probate research profession.

We complete hundreds of pro-bono cases every year, helping with stories of reunions of family separated by war or forced adoption and reuniting people with family heirlooms such as their ancestors lost war medals or long-lost books.

We are also a founding member of IAPPR, the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, Genealogists and Heir Hunters which aims to provide a single, authoritative voice for global probate research industry professionals and has an impressive list of international member companies.


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Name: Danny Curran
Tel: 020 7490 4935
Email: [email protected]
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