More than a third of people underestimate the time it might take to receive their inheritance, according to research from Co-op Legal Services.

In a survey of 2,000 UK adults, 37% said they expect to wait 4-6 months to receive their inheritance.

In reality, the process can often take longer than this estimate, depending on a range of circumstances.

For instance, among those who had carried out probate for someone, it took an average of almost 11 months to complete the administration of the estate.

Probate is the term often used to describe the legal processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions of a person who has died.

Gavin Holt, head of probate at Co-op Legal Services, said:

"Whether you're an executor named in a will, or the next of kin in the absence of a will, dealing with the estate of a loved one can be difficult.

"It's not something that comes around very often, and people often don't know where to begin.

"As with all legal work, it's very important to get probate right, and a lot of peace of mind can come from handing it over to an expert."

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