How long can they draw it out before it has to go to probate, isn't there a time limit?
Minimum time is as follows: once the application is filed the clerk "posts" a notice of the probate and a hearing can be held on the Monday ten days following the posting of the notice. So, it is a very quick fuse. Contested cases can take years.
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5 lawyers agree
This is a question better answered by the atty for the estate, if you are a distributee under the will.
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1 lawyer agrees
The "prove-up" hearing on an application to probate a Will and appoint an Independent Executor cannot occur sooner than the Monday following 10 days after the date the clerk posts the notice (which is usually the same day it is filed with the court). How soon after the expiration of that period a hearing actually occurs can vary depending on a lot of things: how busy the court's docket is; availability of the applicant; availability of the applicant's lawyer; availability of any witnesses (normally there aren't any witnesses beyond the applicant). But, if the probate involves a dependent administration (where there is no Will) or where there are any contested issues, then it could be several weeks or months longer.
DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.
4 lawyers agree
I agree with the other responses, but I would add that, having the Will filed with the probate court does not actually guarantee that there will be an estate opened, at all. Most states require the Will to be filed with the court, following the testator's death. But if there are no probate assets, then probate will not be necessary and the Will would never be admitted to probate. If there were assets titled in the decedent's name alone, then probate will be necessary. If the assets were all joint or had beneficiaries designated, then those assets would bypass probate, (and the Will).
Your summary does not include enough information to determine whether there will be a probate in your situation or not.
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