The stress of probate as bad as house buying

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Managing the estate of a loved one after death can be as stressful as buying a house, according to new research.

Research from The Living Probate Company (TLPC) found that 58 per cent of people managing the estate of a loved one after their death, without a solicitor, said they found the process stressful – putting this on a par with 57 per cent of homeowners who said they found the house-buying process to be stressful.

In addition, 20 per cent have had to take time off work above and beyond compassionate leave to deal with it.

Sophie Armfield, managing director of The Living Probate Company, said: “The impact of taking on the estate of a deceased loved one can be extremely time-consuming, not to mention stressful given the circumstances.

“The fact that people actually end up taking time off above and beyond compassionate leave to tend to the estate means that it can be an overwhelming experience for them. With the probate procedure sometimes taking anywhere up to two years to tie up, this can mean vast amounts of time being spent away from work and other things.”

TLPC’s research found that the stress of the probate process often causes disruption to the executor’s everyday life, with almost one in three stating that it had impacted on their time. Of the 45–54 age group, this rose to over two in five.

A quarter of estate trustees found that their deceased loved one was worth more than expected, according to the research by TLPC.