How long will it take to deal with the estate?

Personal representatives have at least a year before they have to distribute any of the estate. Normally an estate can be dealt with faster than that.

Potential claims causing delays

  • Any continuing legal disputes either for or against the estate
  • Any debts claims from creditors and the use of statutory advertising to avoid personal liability for the personal representative
  • Any estate interests in businesses
  • Sorting out pensions and benefits agencies
  • Sorting any disagreements between family members over assets

Tax and valuation delays

  • Valuation of assets for HMRC – collating information and preparing statements of assets and liabilities for inheritance tax
  • Income tax and capital gains tax assessment and administration time
  • Collecting in assets, which becomes particularly slow when intending to sell property as part of the estate
  • Sending copies of the death certificate to asset holders to obtain confirmation of any assets belonging to the estate
  • Obtaining a valuation of any property and personal affects if necessary
  • Any enquiries as to any foreign assets which may be within the estate


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