The already slow probate process is now facing additional delays, according to a London estate agent.

Talking to The Negotiator, Nina Harrison of the firm Haringtons says a variety of things are to blame, including Covid, a low take up of Wills among the public and solicitor staff shortages. The probate process can delay properties being put on the market or listed for auction.

Mrs Harrison said the ongoing backlog had exacerbated the already lengthy probate process, which was having huge repercussions on the property markets. Homes are lying empty while awaiting clarification of ownership.

Staff shortages

The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed by leading to a shortage in the numbers of staff processing Wills, along with the increased workload which was a consequence of Covid-related deaths, and the increased dependency of residential care.

The firm Haringtons claims that while covid is a contributory factor, it has highlighted the main issue – that so many people in the UK do not have Wills (59 percent), with 39 percent of 65-74-year-olds not having one. It has resulted in a situation where the probate system is “creaking severely” leading to long delays on property sales that might have gone ahead in normal times.

Ms Harrison said in one case where a young family are attempting to buy a family home in London and by the time they get the keys, the whole process will have taken 21 months, although this will not include the time they will need to spend in rented accommodation while refurbishment work is carried out on the property.

Rapid probate property sales

Finders International specialises in rapid probate property sales and services. Our service can also include a covid decontamination clean, and we can search for assets and have the chattels valued. We work with traditional estate agents through a UK-wide network and can prepare properties for online or physical auctions.

To ensure the property is safe and secure up until it is sold, we organise a change of locks, and secure the property, and visit it regularly. Assets and sentimental items are stored away, and our in-house staff perform secure pick-up and delivery services.

To refer a property for prompt disposal or to order an initial valuation, please email or call one our RICS accredited Property Sales & Service Managers, Saida Abasheikh (020 3859 4418) or Michael Jermy (020 3887 9218) or call the switchboard on 020 7490 4935.