Perhaps one of the most common questions when people start the probate process is, “Exactly how long is this going to take?" Unfortunately, the answer to this question is very specific to your case and often beyond the control of your attorney. And perhaps the biggest factor in determining when the estate can close is how soon you begin. Yes, it’s a well known fact that in order to complete the process, you first must actually begin the process. Here are a few considerations:
Once you have opened the estate, you can expect it to remain open for a minimum of eight (8) months, most likely it will take closer to a year or longer from start to finish. Even the best attorney can’t complete it in less time as the law requires the estate be open that long in order for creditors to have time to make claims for any money they are owed by the decedent. Here are a few more things to consider:
In closing, know that while good estate planning and use of trusts can eliminate many of the hassles of probate, nothing can change the court’s requirements for probating an estate that contains assets. Only those who have no real property, no titled assets (cars, boats, mobile homes) and no personal property or assets that total above ten thousand ($10,000) can skip the formalities by using a process called a small estate.