Lawyers.com Answers: How long does the probate process take?


Probate is the court process for settling
a deceased person’s estate. It can take from a few months to several years, depending
on the state’s procedural requirements, the size and complexity of the estate, and
whether there are complicated legal issues to resolve — like a will contest, missing
beneficiaries, or competing creditors. A typical probate starts with the court appointing
an executor. Then the executor must identify and notify beneficiaries and creditors, provide
the will (if there is one), and gather and appraise the estate’s assets. This part
of the process can take some time. Ultimately, the executor will transfer estate property
to the beneficiaries. However, before that can be done, the executor must pay all debts
and taxes, sell estate property if necessary, get clearance from the IRS, and wait for the
court to approve all of the paperwork. Small and simple estates may get through this process
relatively quickly, but there are many opportunities for delay, especially with large or complex
estates. Probate can be a long and complicated process.
If you’re involved with settling an estate, a local probate attorney help you understand
your responsibilities.

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