Probate & Estate AdministrationMay 15, 2023by Finex & CoWhat is the timeframe for submitting a probate application after someone passed away?

What is the timeframe for submitting a probate application after someone passed away?

Most people do not understand or know how probate applications work. Thus, I hope I am able to clear up the questions that people face in regard to the timeframe of submitting a probate application after the passing of a close kin.

To begin, let’s clarify the broad definition of probate. It refers to a legal process of executing the last wishes of a deceased individual as specified in their will. The executor designated in the will is tasked with taking the will to a lawyer, who will then initiate the process of applying for a probate grant.


The duration for completing probate typically ranges from 6 months to a year, but this timeline can be influenced by the complexity of the will. If the will is more intricate, it may take longer to settle the probate.

Factors that may affect probate timescale:

  • Nature and extent of your assets and properties
  • Involvement of multiple parties
  • Absence of a Will
  • Multiple properties
  • Possibility of someone contesting your Will

The complexity of the Will or other possible reasons may usually affect on how fast a probate may be granted.

So why do some probate cases take more time? I will elaborate further on some factors which occurs more often than others.

  1. Nature and extent of your assets and properties

Probate is a legal process that enables the executor to access the assets of a deceased individual. If the deceased had only one bank account and maybe a property, the probate process can be straightforward and may complete earlier.

However, the most challenging aspect of probate is transferring the funds from the deceased person’s account to the beneficiaries’ accounts. In many cases, the estate administrators may need to open a new account to collect the estate before distributing it and this process may take more time when there are multiple accounts across different banks especially in a foreign country.

When an estate involves several properties, those properties may need to be sold to cover outstanding debts before any remaining funds are distributed to the beneficiaries or next-of-kin which may take time as selling properties don’t happen in a blink of an eye. It depends on the current market value and whether the location of the property has high demand.

  1. Legality

In some cases, due to the complexities of an estate, the probate lawyer may need to hold onto the estate for an extended period. For instance, if the deceased had outstanding debts, the estate may need to be sold to cover those debts, leaving any remaining funds to be distributed among the beneficiaries named in the will.

Alternatively, if any of the family members challenge the legality of the Will, then the process will be halted as the court will have to decide whether the Will should be granted the probate.

In conclusion, there are many reasons that may occur which delay the granting of probate which causes delay in distribution of the assets by the executor. Safest way is to write your Will as clearly and as specifically as possible to prevent any challenges that may arise.