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In England & Wales, there are no strict time limits for applying for probate or administering an estate after someone has died. However, it's essential to note that certain tasks may be delayed until the grant of probate is obtained, so it's generally advisable not to postpone the process for too long.

As the executor or administrator of the estate, you have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Delays in administering the estate may lead beneficiaries to question your actions.

While there's flexibility in applying for probate, there are specific time limits and deadlines regarding Inheritance Tax. For instance, if there's no Inheritance Tax to pay, there is no set deadline for submission. However, if the long Inheritance Tax Return (Form IHT400) is required, it must be submitted within a year of the death.

If Inheritance Tax is payable, it must be paid within six months of the death. Failing to meet this deadline may result in additional interest or financial penalties.

Furthermore, delays in submitting the inheritance tax return could prompt beneficiaries to raise concerns. In extreme cases, beneficiaries may even seek to remove an executor from their role through legal channels.

Therefore, while there is some flexibility in the probate process, but it's essential to be mindful of time limits and deadlines, especially concerning Inheritance Tax, to ensure the efficient administration of the estate and to fulfill your duties as an executor or administrator.

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