Probate is the process of sorting and facilitating the estate of a deceased person. Probate procedures can vary based on circumstance and the extent of the decedent’s assets. Facing probate can be an intimidating task for many, especially so soon after the loss of a loved one. Challenges can arise to slow the process down, but some may be avoidable with the right approach.
1. One common challenge is the length of the probate process itself. Depending on the complexity of the decedent’s estate, probate may last anywhere from nine months to two years. During this window, you are also waiting on administrative processes such as those related to creditors and governments. Simply appraising the estate’s value can even take several months.
2. Some people may contest a will during the probate process, which can complicate the timeline and your place in the probate steps. Wills may be contested by:
- Beneficiaries – Those who are named in a will are beneficiaries. These may include the spouses, children and grandchildren of the deceased.
- Heirs – Relatives who inherit estate upon a loved one’s death are heirs. Typically, heirs are closer relatives; immediate family members.
3. Finally, while it may vary significantly from case to case, those involved in the probate process face various expenses. Such expenses can include legal fees, executor fees, court costs and more. However, these expenses can often be paid for by the estate in question. Additionally, seeking an experienced attorney may help with probate efficiency.