Probate is the process by which a will is presented in court for a judge to determine its validity, to appoint and empower an Executor with Letters Testamentary to pay off the Testator’s debts and distribute their property and possessions to their beneficiaries.
The following is a sample probate timeline. It is an approximation and is not guaranteed for any individual case. Estates may be resolved more quickly if there is limited property and an uncomplicated family situation. However, many estates will take much longer to administer if there is significant or complex property or a disagreement between family members and heirs. You would be wise to consult with a local probate attorney on the specifics of your probate matter.
Months 1 – 3: During the first months after a decedent’s death, the surviving family will gather the necessary documentation and Petition the Surrogate’s Court to have the Estate’s Personal Representative appointed. This process will include the following:
Months 3 – 6: After the Executor receives Letter’s Testamentary from the Court, they begin acting on behalf of the Estate. The Executor will:
Month 7 +: The majority of estates will require at least seven months before the Executor may begin property distribution but at this point, the Executor should determine which property should be sold and which beneficiary will get which asset (if not specified in the will).
At this point in the Estate Administration process the Executor will complete negotiations with creditors, close creditor claims, pay creditors and tax bills and provide an initial accounting to beneficiaries.
The Executor will prepare a formal or informal accounting and ultimately distribute assets to beneficiaries.
It bears repeating that the above is simply a sample timeline and things will often be completed at a different pace with some Estates remaining unresolved for several years. Please contact the Law Offices of Roman Aminov, P.C. to discuss the particulars of your probate matter.
This article is for educational purposes only - to provide you with general information, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this post does not create an attorney-client relationship and information contained herein should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.