Probate Process: How Long Does it Take?

While death is inevitable, someone moving on to the afterlife is always deemed as unfortunate. Nevertheless, there are legal processes that govern the estate of a person who has passed on and one of these is the probate process.

Setting Up an Estate Plan

Probate Process

The probate process is a legal process wherein the assets of an owner are distributed after his death. Usually, there is a representative that is appointed to oversee the process, but a local court ruling is necessary before any asset is allocated to the living heirs. The entire process includes the notification of all interested parties, as well as the payment of creditors and tax returns. After all liabilities are settled, the overall market worth of the assets is determined. This entails the need for the representative to appear before the local court a couple of times.

If you are appointed as the representative of the deceased, you might need sufficient funds to process all these requirements. In this case, you may apply for a probate loan or an estate loan wherein the loan amount is dependent on the amount of the deemed inheritance. It can be said that this type of loan is a loan against estate wherein you, as the representative will need to make monthly amortizations until the probate is closed. The benefit of this is that you will have ample cash while the entire probate is in process.

The reason behind this is that the probate process may take anywhere from a couple of months to a number of years. The length of time for the completion of a probate process is dependent on a number of factors:

  1. The distance between the personal representative and the lawyer handling the claim. In instances wherein a personal representative needs to work with an attorney handling the case, a great factor in the speed of processing the probate is their distance. If the representative and the lawyer are within the same vicinity, it will be more effortless to process all the documents that need signatures in court.
  2. The number of beneficiaries. Generally, the more beneficiaries there are, the longer the process may take. This is because of the administrative task of sending to and from documents for signature via mail.
  3. The overall relationship between the beneficiaries. With more beneficiaries, it is more likely that they have varied opinions on how the estate must be distributed or handled. Conflicting opinions between the beneficiaries will result in a lengthy probate process.
  4. The presence or absence of a will. The presence of a will may make the probate process faster because there is a great chance that the estate is already diligently distributed to the beneficiaries in the will. Without a will, the court needs to be heavily involved in every step of the way, even in the appointment of a representative of the deceased.

To wrap things up, it is always unfortunate when somebody dies without being able to promptly turn over his estate to his heirs. Nevertheless, there are already legal processes, such as the probate process, which makes everything seamless and convenient.

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