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How longs a piece of string! i.e Probate time scale Q

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How longs a piece of string! i.e Probate time scale Q

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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chunkytfgchunkytfg Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
I'm sure this is hardly a question anyone can actually answer but I thought i'd try given the generally vast amount of experience the MSE collective has.

Myself and my OH are currently trying to buy a house but the person selling it hasn't got Probate to sell it yet and it is extremely frustrating to say the least!

Allegedly we the probate was applied for around 10 weeks ago(end feb) despite the Estate agent being told originally when the property was listed with them back in august 2018 that probate was already sorted.

EA is saying the Vendors Solicitor(same Sol's doing the probate application) is claiming the Probate office has not requested any further information since the application went in so to my mind that means it should be quite straight forward.

I know the estate is complicated because the person who died left both a UK and a spanish property to the Vendor who is also Dual nationality and apparently pays taxes in both countries making IHT complicated I think.

However I still can't understand what the hold up is! Surely if a solicitor is satisfied everything is dealt with well enough to actually put the application in it shouldn't take this long?

We are now just 2 weeks from our Mortgage application expiring and tbh if we had known initially that this was the situation we would have waited to apply for the mortgage till the vendor was actually allowed to sell the house!!

Am I wrong to think that once the paperwork is all in order to be able to actually apply then the actual grant of probate should be fairly quick to get?
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  • chunkytfg wrote: »
    I'm sure this is hardly a question anyone can actually answer but I thought i'd try given the generally vast amount of experience the MSE collective has.

    Myself and my OH are currently trying to buy a house but the person selling it hasn't got Probate to sell it yet and it is extremely frustrating to say the least!

    Allegedly we the probate was applied for around 10 weeks ago(end feb) despite the Estate agent being told originally when the property was listed with them back in august 2018 that probate was already sorted.

    EA is saying the Vendors Solicitor(same Sol's doing the probate application) is claiming the Probate office has not requested any further information since the application went in so to my mind that means it should be quite straight forward.

    I know the estate is complicated because the person who died left both a UK and a spanish property to the Vendor who is also Dual nationality and apparently pays taxes in both countries making IHT complicated I think.

    However I still can't understand what the hold up is! Surely if a solicitor is satisfied everything is dealt with well enough to actually put the application in it shouldn't take this long?

    We are now just 2 weeks from our Mortgage application expiring and tbh if we had known initially that this was the situation we would have waited to apply for the mortgage till the vendor was actually allowed to sell the house!!

    Am I wrong to think that once the paperwork is all in order to be able to actually apply then the actual grant of probate should be fairly quick to get?
    I understand your frustration. There is no way of telling. IMHO never ever buy a house in such circumstances. This does not help you but is a candid answer!
  • chunkytfgchunkytfg Forumite
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    I understand your frustration. There is no way of telling. IMHO never ever buy a house in such circumstances. This does not help you but is a candid answer!

    Thanks. If we'd have known the vendor wasn't actually allowed to sell the property we would have carried on looking for somewhere else leaving our offer on the table and spent no money on searches etc however when you're told its all done and the vendor wants a quick sale you have no reason to think it wont be!
    Those who risk nothing, Do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing
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  • chunkytfg wrote: »
    Thanks. If we'd have known the vendor wasn't actually allowed to sell the property we would have carried on looking for somewhere else leaving our offer on the table and spent no money on searches etc however when you're told its all done and the vendor wants a quick sale you have no reason to think it wont be!
    In the circumstances believe nobody! Sellers are notorious for lying. As are buyers for that matter!
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    With a solicitor involved there is an automatic 6 month wait because the solicitor will issue a notice in The Gazette and then has to wait for 6 months in case any debtors come forward. A private person doing probate may not do this, though in what sounds like a complex case like this may do it anyway.

    So, cutting to the chase, looks like this has been out up for sale prematurely and you should at the least instruct your solicitor to stop work on this for the time being, and then you carry on looking for other properties.
  • AnotherJoe wrote: »
    With a solicitor involved there is an automatic 6 month wait because the solicitor will issue a notice in The Gazette and then has to wait for 6 months in case any debtors come forward. A private person doing probate may not do this, though in what sounds like a complex case like this may do it anyway.

    So, cutting to the chase, looks like this has been out up for sale prematurely and you should at the least instruct your solicitor to stop work on this for the time being, and then you carry on looking for other properties.
    Partially true. The solicitor, as does any prudent executor, wait for six months for any claim made for claims by any financial dependents. The Gazette notice protects executors from any claims from creditors who fail to claim within the statutory notice period. This period is not six months but AFAIK 9 weeks.
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    You learn something every day ! . According to this https://advisingfamilies.org/information-portal/managing-money/what-is-a-deceased-estates-notice/ is two months and one day !

    I wonder then why solicitors wait six months, or seem to ? Or is that another urban myth I've taken on board ?
  • AnotherJoe wrote: »
    You learn something every day ! . According to this https://advisingfamilies.org/information-portal/managing-money/what-is-a-deceased-estates-notice/ is two months and one day !

    I wonder then why solicitors wait six months, or seem to ? Or is that another urban myth I've taken on board ?
    Yes it is bizarre! The initial 6 months wait is to allow any claims for family provision. Loads of references to this online.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Have you asked your solicitor to contact the sellers solicitors for a proper update and estimated date on when they expect to receive probate and proceed with the house sale?

    When probate is received the house sale can go through as any claims on the estate will be monetary. Therefore selling the house raises funds to deal with claims.

    The six month thing referred to is probably just to allow encashment of all the assets as shares can take a while to deal with, assets outside the UK are dealt with via the post which also causes delays.
  • DoxDox Forumite
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    chunkytfg wrote: »
    Allegedly we the probate was applied for around 10 weeks ago(end feb) despite the Estate agent being told originally when the property was listed with them back in august 2018 that probate was already sorted.

    EA is saying the Vendors Solicitor(same Sol's doing the probate application) is claiming the Probate office has not requested any further information since the application went in so to my mind that means it should be quite straight forward.

    Am I wrong to think that once the paperwork is all in order to be able to actually apply then the actual grant of probate should be fairly quick to get?

    There are huge delays at many probate offices, resulting from a software glitch - so yes, I'm afraid you are wrong! The fact the probate office hasn't requested any further information is neither here nor there; it could be the application is still sitting around waiting to be processed.

    If you liked the house enough to put in an offer, hang on to that fact now. This is a temporary hold up, although the duration is obviously much longer than you'd wish (ditto the vendor).
  • TopcatkTopcatk Forumite
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    I feel for you and share your frustration. We are currently sitting in an Airbnb having sold our house and waiting for probate to be granted on the property one above us (top of chain). Every day we question whether we should just walk away and not buy in the UK at all (we are planning to retire abroad). This is / was one of the final activities before we hand our notices in. Question is how long do you wait?
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