When someone we care about passes away and leaves behind assets, their estate must be settled. This process is known as probate and while most people want the process to be done ASAP, probate can take anywhere from 18 and 24 months. It’s no surprise that this time delay can cause a great deal of stress and frustration.
Here are the 5 most common reasons a probate case will likely take a long time to settle:
- 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.
- Probate court caseload. Most probate courts are dealing with high caseloads and limited staff. This often can cause a delay in the process.
- 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 creator of the will was:
- Lacking testamentary capacity (meaning they did not understand what they were doing)
- Delusional (their mental state was diminished)
- Subject to undue influence (someone was pushing them along in this process)
- A victim of fraud
- Creditor Notification. A will’s executor must notify all known creditors of the decedent so they have time to submit claims for debts. In Florida, the creditor period is 3 months long for unknown creditors.
Simply Put, Avoiding Probate with a Trust Is The Better Option
Simply put, having assets in a trust is typically the better planning option. Administration generally only takes six to eight months total – meaning that the process is not tied up in court, beneficiaries get assets faster, costs are reduced, and stress levels are kept to a minimum.
Take Action Now – Call The Legacy Law Firm for Help With Your Probate Matter.
If you’re in need of assistance then we are here to help. We utilize the latest technology to ensure the process is proceeding as smoothly and efficiently as possible and strive to provide top notch communication on all client cases.
For more information on the probate process or estate planning, call (954) 999-9683.