My aunt died in September and the executor of her will says it might take 12 months for it to be settled
Unfortunately, there is no real set timeframe as different estates take longer than others. Further, you will need to ask this question of PA attorneys incase there is some deadline there. Repost the question using the city where your aunt passed for you to get the attention of PA attorneys.
The executor is probably correct. In North Carolina, the Executor automatically has 12 months to complete probate If there is any reason to need more time - which is not unusual - the Executor can ask the court for additional time.
Keep in mind, the 12 months period only starts once the person actually becomes the Executor by the Probate Court issuing Letters Testamentary.
This information is provided for general educational purposes and should not be relied upon in terms of specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship was formed in this process. For legal advice, please consider consulting with and retaining an attorney of your choice.
Twelve months sounds about right, assuming the decedent left behind at least a moderate degree of wealth. While I do not pretend to know Pennsylvania probate law as well as that of North Carolina, I do not think it is really the state in which probate is commenced that determines the time, but rather the degree of complexity of the deceased's estate. A wide range of factors--such as gross and net value of the estate; the number of creditors; the potential issue of Medicaid estate recovery proceedings; estate, inheritance and/or other tax implications; disputes among beneficiaries; and the decision of whether to sell real estate, can necessitate a year's time to close an estate. For an estate of the average middle class person, a year is not at all unreasonable. If issues arise that leave you concerned, I would contact a Pennsylvania probate lawyer to offer you more specific guidance based on the probate code of that jurisdiction. Have a safe and rewarding 2020.
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