Managing the affairs of a loved one on their death - How can we help and support you?

Advice  |   2 February 2024

Written by
Leah Barrett, Solicitor

Managing the affairs of a loved one on their death is never easy, but we are here to help.

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate. The process of applying for probate can be a daunting task, with many complex issues that need to be addressed. It is important that it is done right to avoid delays in the administration of a loved one’s affair and avoid unnecessary heartache for the family members.

With the quantity of application numbers skyrocketing in recent years and the average timescale for an application for a Grant of Probate taking up to 16 weeks, delays and errors are causing untold harm and emotional distress on families.

A recent study undertaken by the Law Society ( found that 62% of solicitors reported that the online portals caused delays in court proceedings, which had emotional and financial impacts on clients.

One question we must ask, is why?

What is causing these delays?

  1. Nearly 68% of delays to applications are caused by Registry Errors which require corrections to be made resulting in further delays to the application.
  2. Inexperienced staff- With the demand for applications surging, the current system appears to be struggling to keep up with the demand.
  3. Every estate is different and there is no ‘one shoe fits all approach’ to how an estate should be handled. Further training is required to support staff to deal with more complicated estates more efficiently and to avoid mistakes happening.
  4. Rising application numbers- With the sheer number of applications rising, delays in applications being dealt with are also increasing.

What effect is the delay having?

  1. Financial Hardship- In many circumstances, an estate cannot be finalised and administered until the Grant of Probate has been granted. This places some Beneficiaries who may depend on their inheritance to cover their basic needs in a tricky position and may require them to secure loans in order to cover themselves during that period.
  2. Delays in property sales- If a property forms part of an estate, commonly a sale will be contingent on the Grant of Probate being issued which can leave many sales in jeopardy if the Grant is delayed.
  3. Emotional Toll- Grief is a very difficult emotion to deal with and the added burden of administrating an estate and navigating the uncertainty of the legal complexities involved can be a very overwhelming concept for many.

How can we help you?

Remember you are not alone!

Our Private Client team have extensive and specialist experiencing in dealing with the administration of Estates and we have a wide range of experience in dealing with a variety of estates including complex and difficult estates, including those with international elements.

We are here to help and support you by navigating you through the complexities of the process of administering a loved one’s affairs. We can not only ensure that all the paperwork has been completed in order and deadlines are met to avoid any potential delays to the application, but also support you through the process so that it is not as daunting as it first seems!

Our Private Client team can handle the entire process for you and take the pressure off you and your family and allow you to cope with the loss of a loved one in peace.

Is there anything I can do to help in my lifetime?

By taking action early you are able to proactively help your family members to deal with your affairs when you are no longer around.

Some steps you could take are:

  1. Ensuring your Will is up to date so that your trusted Executors and are able to deal with your estate as efficiently and quickly as possible.
  2. Keeping your affairs in order- Any steps you are able to take to help organise your paperwork and affairs will make it easier for your Executors to identify your assets and deal with them accordingly. Even a small step like creating a ring binder of your paperwork can make a huge difference for your Executors.

For further information please contact a member of our Private Client team on 0208 290 0440 who will be happy to advise you further.