After a loved one dies, his/her estate must be probated (court action through which assets are transferred to heirs or beneficiaries). While most everyone wants the probate process to be done as soon as possible, probate can take a year and more, even for a modest estate. Yes, you heard that right.
5 Reasons Probate Takes So Long:
There are many reasons why probating a will takes so long. Here are five of the most common:
- Paperwork. Managing probate required paperwork can be a monumental undertaking with structured timelines and court-imposed deadlines.
- Complexity. Estates with numerous or complicated assets simply take longer to probate as there are more items to be accounted for and valued. However, at this time, any small estate takes up to a year to be processed. Imagine how long are the larger estate’s administration taking!
- Probate court caseload. Most probate courts are dealing with high caseloads and limited staff.
- Challenges to the will. Heirs, beneficiaries, and those, who thought they’d be beneficiaries, can object to and challenge the will’s terms and legality. While state law dictates how long they have to object, will challenges can add years to the process. Common challenges include that the testator (person who executed the will) was:
- Lacking testamentary capacity
- Subject to undue influence
- A victim of fraud
- Creditor Notification. A will’s personal representative must notify the decedent’s creditors so they have time to submit claims for debts, which means, that the Estate must also wait three months for the claim period to run before any further action is taken on the case.
Most state probate laws are designed to keep the process moving along in a timely manner. But that’s more of a plan than a reality.
Simply Put, Avoiding Probate with a Trust Is Better.
By putting assets in a trust, the administration time is shortened. It does not mean that there is no administration, but the administration is faster because it is not tied up to the court calendar, costs are usually reduced, and stress levels are kept to a minimum.
Take Action Now.
First, if you need help handling a probate case in court, we can help you through the process and that way remove some of the burden from you, so you can move on with your life. Second, we can help you make sure you never burden your loved ones the way you’ve been burden. How? We’ll show you how to avoid probate with a trust.
Give us a call at 305-456-7158 and we will schedule an Estate Planning Session for you or you can click Estate Planning Session to request we call you to schedule. Either way, do not wait, be protected and have peace of mind knowing you have the right Estate Plan that will not require probate.
Yahima Suarez, Esq.
Yahima Suarez, PA