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Thursday, July 22, 2021

What Can Delay the Probate Process?

If you have done any initial investigation into the many benefits of estate planning, you may have read that one of the big potential perks of comprehensive estate planning is that you can put tools in place that help your assets from avoiding probate, in whole or in part. Why is it so great if you can avoid probate? Well, for starters, probate can be expensive. The court fees alone can take a significant chunk out of an estate’s value. Probate is also a public, court-supervised process which means privacy is hard to come by. The assets of an estate and how they are to be distributed become a matter of public record. Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that probate is a notoriously lengthy process. It can take months to a year or more for probate to wrap up. The extended proceedings can be draining, especially considering the following in the wake of a person’s death. On top of this, there are particular aspects of some cases that can delay probate proceedings and lead to the process taking even longer than usual. We will discuss some of those aspects here.

What Can Delay the Probate Process?

First of all, the people involved in the probate process can have a big impact on how delayed or how smoothly everything proceeds. A contentious probate process is set to take much more time than one in which the heirs get along. If the beneficiaries of an estate are upset with each other or, more problematic, upset with how property is set to be distributed, you are more likely to have things like will contests come up. When the validity of a will is challenged, the probate court will have to resolve the matter before proceeding with probate. It can take a significant amount of time to do so.

Furthermore, the personal representative of the estate can have a significant effect on how long probate takes. A personal representative who does not take the necessary steps involved in probate or fails to take them in a timely manner means that probate proceedings are likely to experience otherwise avoidable delays. This means that you should take great care to develop an estate plan and make a thoughtful selection as to who you want to serve as a personal representative of your estate.

Estates with complex assets or a substantial amount of assets can also experience delays. Assets, such as collectibles, can take added time as they may require valuation by an expert prior to probate proceeding. If the deceased owned property out of state, this can also mean delays in probate. Property held outside of the state will likely require ancillary probate. This means that there will essentially be two probate proceedings involving the same estate running at the same time. This can be complex, confusing, and time-consuming.

Estate Planning Attorney

Help out your heirs by putting a solid estate plan in place that helps avoid the frustrating delays that can come with probate. Talk to the trusted estate planning team at Monk Law about your options. Contact Monk Law Firm today.


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