I am often asked, Roman,
The answer always depends on the particular circumstance of the case. Variables such as whether the will is being contested by an interested party, the size of the estate, the nature of the assets in the estate, and the county in which the decedent died all play a role. Assuming no one contests the will, the time it takes to get a will admitted to probate after it is filed in New York City is anywhere between one and three months, with two months being average.
Once the will is admitted to probate, the estate needs to be administered by the executor. Assets need to be collected, debts need to be paid, and distributions of assets need to be made.
Since the executor is personally liable to creditors if he distributes assets before 7 months have elapsed from his appointment, the minimum time it takes to complete probate is 7 months from the time the will is admitted to probate, although we sometimes see estates stay opened for two years or more.
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