Probate is a legal process that occurs after a person passes away. During this process, their assets are distributed to their heirs and debts are paid off. Unfortunately, probate can be a long and complicated process, with many potential delays. These delays can have a significant impact on the probate process.
Probate delays recently hit an all time high due to probate offices around the country shutting down in mass. Before the pandemic, there were regional probate offices scattered around the country, comfortably managing the probate request, and delivering grants of probate promptly. During covid, all but one or two probate registries were closed down, with the main probate registry situated in London. With the amount of probate requests remaining the same but the registry reducing dramatically, the delays have been substantial to say the least.
One of the biggest ways that probate delays can affect the probate process is by increasing the overall cost of the process. During probate, the estate may be required to pay legal fees, court fees, and other expenses. These costs can quickly add up, and if the probate process is delayed, these expenses can continue to increase.
Another way that probate delays can affect the probate process is by causing stress and uncertainty for all involved. The probate process can be emotionally taxing, as the heirs of the estate may be mourning the loss of a loved one while also navigating the legal process. The inheritance they are due to receive could be life changing or life saving amounts. With probate being delayed, the distribution of the estate is also delayed which can financially impact the beneficiaries expecting a sum of money sooner rather than later.
For example, if a beneficiary is relying on an inheritance to pay off debts or bills, a delay in the probate process can significantly impact their financial situation. Furthermore, it affects Blanchards as a company. With no estate being paid out, we don’t receive our share and struggle upholding vital aspects of our business. This can affect, wages, utilities and even impact our decisions with what software’s or third party international researchers we can afford to use.
Moreover, properties can lay empty whilst waiting for the grant of probate. Numerous issues can arise when a property lays empty. Squatting and trespassing being a huge problem for empty properties across the country. There is also the risk of vermin and pests occupying the house, attracted by the mess left behind. These pests can not only be a nightmare to exterminate, but they can destroy a house internally through time. Empty properties can also quickly become run down and decrepit, becoming an eye sore for the street. Not only is this unpleasant for surrounding neighbours but it can also drive the prices of properties in the area down
In some of our cases, probate delays can also lead to disputes between heirs. This can happen if the heirs disagree about how the estate should be distributed or if they feel that the process is taking too long. These disputes can further delay the probate process and increase the overall costs of the process. In extreme cases, probate disputes can even lead to legal action and further delays in the probate process.
In conclusion, probate delays can have a significant impact on the probate process. They can increase the overall costs of the process, cause stress and uncertainty for all involved, impact the timing of distribution of assets, and even lead to disputes between heirs. To avoid delays in probate, it is important to work with a probate company like Blanchards, and to have all necessary documents in order. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a smooth and efficient probate process.
This article was submitted to be published by Blanchards Inheritance 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.