Estate probate is a legal process that heirs sometimes have to go through, which determines the designated beneficiaries and the settlement of all estate debts. Although all states have their own regulations, still it is known throughout that it can take from six months to a few years to finalize. That is why many beneficiaries who are in need of instant cash prefer to go through other processes like in-advanced probate.
Of course, nothing is as easy as it seems. The fact is that the question of how long can an estate stay in probate is not simple to answer. The duration may vary based on many different factors that heirs should keep in account. Here are some different factors that will determine how long the probate process might take:
The probate process will take longer if the number of beneficiaries increases. Especially if they live far from the personal representative and the attorney’s office. Imagine how time-consuming the process of sending and receiving various documents between each party to agree on and sign is.
2. Beneficiaries Consent:
Most probably and especially if there are numerous beneficiaries, disagreements will occur on the estate’s fate. Thus, it is expected that some heirs will hire their own attorney to monitor probate processes, and those lawyers might make things harder for everyone.
Lawyers can even go through a will contest to invalidate it for the sake of their beneficiary. Thus, a probate process will be left open, for a very long time, until the will contest is reached.
In the case of a will absence, things tend to get more complicated. The court will be more involved in the process, appointing someone to act as a personal representative of the deceased, so the court can decide on who are the heirs, beneficiaries, and exact percentages of each.
4. Estate Debts:
Usually, in the case of larger estates, the state will require the settlement of all taxes and debts before the process’s closure. A creditor must file a claim for payments, which has its own set of laws in each state. The law may require time from 7 months up to a year for them to be sure that all debts are paid to known and unknown creditors.
5. Assets Complexity:
A probate process might go fast as a couple of months if the estate is simple, like involving just a house and a personal bank account. However, for more complicated and numerous assets, like having a company, factory, numerous houses, life insurance, and stock shares, any of these will make the process much harder and more time-consuming.
6. Estate Closure:
After all debts and taxes have been paid, and assets are distributed among heirs and beneficiaries, there is the last procedure to close a probate, which involves filing a closing statement with the complete listing of estate closures.
The duration of a probate process may vary from one case to another, and from each state to another. The probate process can drag on for years to come, depending on beneficiaries and assets complexity. Thus, the availability of in-advance probate companies make heirs’ life easier, liquidating their assets while estate the process is still ongoing.