It is not unusual for probate to take six months to be granted and another six months for distribution to take place although, on a simple estate
, it could take place in a couple of months or more complicated estate could take a couple of years.
If there is a property involved, and obviously the property has to be sold and that will add an inevitable delay.
The beneficiaries, surprisingly, have very few rights. They don’t actually have a right to see the will although they can get a copy from the probate registry, once it has been admitted to probate, for the payment of 5 pounds.
The beneficiaries do not have any right to see detailed accounts but are entitled to know what the overall money is coming in is and how it has been distributed.
The executor’s duty is extremely loose. They have to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and I would argue that that included keeping them informed however that would not extend to keeping them up to date on a weekly basis because if it was solicitors dealing with the estate, that would cost money, it serves no purpose with regard to the distribution and if it is costing money, it is not in the best interest of the beneficiaries. However, an update every few months would not be unreasonable.
If the executor is a solicitor, you can make a complaint to the solicitors complaints officer and senior partner and if the executor is not a solicitor and you think that the executor is unnecessarily delaying things, you can threaten an application to court to have them removed as executor.
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