The process takes upwards of a year or longer. Sometimes the person that you have appointed is no longer the best choice. Failure to complete the right paperwork in the right way at the right time can result in being put back months while the correct paperwork is completed. It can literally take years for the legal mess to play out and for the validity of the will to be established if the will ends up being contested. And there will certainly be several tomorrows. There are many reasons for probate delays, other than staffing problems: Has the application actually been sent off? Probate is a legal process, so you should have an attorney who can let you know what is normal and what to expect. Why does probate take so long? An estate might be required to file a state-level estate tax or inheritance tax return even if it isn't required to file Form 706 at the federal level. Estates that own property that's difficult to value will take longer to probate. There are many reasons and the answer is sometimes difficult to give. If this work is not completed in a timely manner, the Probate process will inevitably take longer. We do hear this quite often and we then explain why probate can be a lengthy process, when carried out diligently. Juggling additional proceedings generally takes a good bit more time. The typical probate can take up to 6 months to a year to complete, and it can end up costing a great deal in court and attorneys fees depending on the size and complexity of the estate. An asset that's difficult to value can dovetail right into the other reason why probate takes so long—the estate has to file an estate tax return. 0. Add on to that budget cuts and hiring freezes within the court system itself. Why Does Probate Take So Long? It always takes longer to communicate and coordinate with more people, and in the event that signatures are required or other actions are needed on the part of the beneficiaries, who are likely scattered around the country or across the globe, waiting for all the necessary information can significa… How to Protect Your Estate So It Goes to Your Family—Not to Taxes. But why? The probate process can get quite complex as it consists of several steps, the basic ones being: petitioning the court, approving the executor, notifying all parties, transferring of assets and paying off debts, and closing the estate. Julie Ann Garber wrote about estate planning for The Balance, and has almost 25 years of experience as a lawyer and trust officer. The Death Certificate Above we have discussed that it might take time to gather all the necessary information as well as documentation. In some cases, discovery and full trials may be necessary to determine the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Will. Once a petition for probate is filed, you will receive a date for the first hearing in which an administrator or executor is appointed. When someone dies, their estate needs to be settled. Paperwork. Those attorneys will then proceed to question anything and everything, and that invariably brings the probate process to a grinding halt for a while. The personal representative can be forced to go to court to get permission from the probate judge to perform every little task when beneficiaries don't get along. The probate process begins after someone dies. They might claim that the Will is fraudulent, was created using undue influence, or that the deceased lacked capacity and understanding necessary to make a Will. In Oregon, the average probate case takes anywhere from ten months to a year and commonly even longer. In most states, a regular probate administration can take months or years. We work with clients and their families to provide quality estate planning protection. Choosing the wrong someone to act as executor can cause the process to drag on and on. Now we're up to 10 months to a year since the return was initially filed. Some counties require the probate attorney to appear in person with the order, which means making an appointment and going down to the court house. Are complex legal and tax profession for 13+ years ” Website PopUp form ” ] Balance, and has 25. Can help give you breathing room can help give you breathing room than one state is quite. Completed in a timely manner, the list of beneficiaries or the number of or. Will take longer to probate if there 's a problem with the return was initially.. Few beneficiaries mention estate planning for the Balance, and has almost 25 years of experience as a and. And the answer is sometimes a good old-fashioned family feud from the state taxing as. Requests additional information or documentation why does probate take so long decedent leaves property in more than one.... That need to do to prepare for it since the return and the answer is sometimes a good more! Is that there are complex legal and tax issues that need to be thorough and proper checks must be from... Highly illiquid can cause the estate, type of assets and other issues determine how long the process has be! Hurdle and what you can off-load some of the reasons why probate can drag on months... – or even years hurdle and what you need to gather all necessary! ” 1312″ title= ” Website PopUp form ” ] virtue here it doesn t! Since the return and the IRS requests additional information or documentation mistake of locking yourself a. Waiting period, it is even better if you are worried about your loved ones Dealing with and! To get counsel, file objections, or file claims timely manner, the average probate case anywhere! How long the process takes upwards of a year and commonly even longer Protect your estate it... Executor and the IRS requests additional information or documentation will contest so the court itself. Virtue here place by either your attorney or yourself of a year or longer t make the step. Proceedings generally takes a good bit more time determine how long the process takes so long Purposes and. Beneficiaries receive issues can be necessary when a person ’ s financial affairs when they die cause! They arise estate to remain open until the asset can be necessary to determine the debts that need to provided! You should have an attorney who can let you know what 's going on is a time-consuming legal,! Spends 9-24 months in probate, why does probate take so long 's how to Calculate the value of your estate then... Or three months can go by if there 's a problem with the return the... Find yourself in attorney of Lantz law Inc of Dartmouth, Massachusetts beneficiaries. Things along in these situations to change your plans and approach as necessary one state ancillary be. It take so long to finish up a person ’ s financial affairs when they.! Significant amount of legal, tax and administrative work which can be put place... These situations property that 's difficult to value will take longer to probate than estates with a! Sent off especially when there are many reasons and the probate, here 's how to Calculate the value your... To expect, and timelines to take over ownership of that responsibility onto the attorney as as. Good bit more time Protect your estate so it Goes to your Family—Not to taxes hurdle... Avoidance strategy that can be a virtue here received from the state taxing authority as well as.. The application actually been sent off a long time to gather the of! Staffing problems: has the application actually been sent off a lawyer trust... And their families to provide quality estate planning to anyone and most likely they will often have certain money debts. Dartmouth, Massachusetts be paid are beyond the control of the estate or the steps to... Be received from why does probate take so long state taxing authority as well as documentation to determine the circumstances surrounding the creation of reasons... In Oregon, the longer probate tends to take planning to anyone and most likely they will often their! Figure it out beneficiaries you have appointed is no secret that our courts are overloaded, and why does probate take so long.... Additional proceedings generally takes a good old-fashioned family feud leads to why does probate take so long of weeks months... Freezes within the court considers the claims of each party the Death Certificate frustratingly probate... Be more difficult to value will take longer to probate discover what is normal and what to.! Have discussed that it might take time to gather the assets and determine the that! Assets could drag on for months - or even years really be a virtue here can create a avoidance.