Anytime a loved one passes away, there are many tasks that need to be taken care of. While there are plenty of more obvious ones, like organizing a funeral, there are others that many people forget about or don’t even realize are required in the first place. One such thing is probate. What is the probate process, and why does it take so long?
Why Does the Probate Process Take So Long?
There are many different reasons why your loved one’s estate might be stuck in probate for many months or even years, including:
- Paperwork: There is a great deal of paperwork involved in the probate process, and all of the paperwork comes with tight deadlines and very strict expectations. This is one of the biggest reasons why people work with an attorney to make the process easier to complete.
- Court Caseload: While things are not as backed up today as they have been in the past, many courts have extremely high caseloads, and your probate case might simply get stuck in the stack for a while. This extends the probate process and makes it harder to finish everything, as you cannot rush the court.
- Complexity: If the estate you are trying to get through the probate process has a large number of assets, a complex variety of assets, or things that might make it harder to tackle than the average case, it will take longer than a simpler estate.
- Challenges: If there are any challenges to the will or estate from beneficiaries, heirs, or people who believe that they should’ve been named beneficiaries, the probate process can take years. Just like court caseload, there is not necessarily a way to accelerate this after someone has passed, as all of the estate planning is already set in stone at that point.
- Creditor Notifications: If the decedent had creditors, the executor of the will will notify them and give them a timeframe during which they have to submit any claims for unpaid debts. Because this is multiple months long, the probate process will have to last at least that length of time.
Is There Any Way to Avoid Probate?
Yes! One of the easiest ways to avoid the probate process is with a trust. Trust administration takes only a few months, compared to the few years that can be involved with the probate process, and it also has lower costs to complete. We can help you determine what estate planning method is right for your needs.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Estate Planning
If you want to make sure that your family and friends receive your assets as soon as possible after passing, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.