The probate process is one people prefer to avoid altogether because of its complex, costly and time-consuming nature. During the process, debts and taxes are paid off, and the estate gets disbursed to beneficiaries.
Interestingly, there are some things that potentially make probate take longer.
- There are so many forms to file to settle estate taxes, transfer assets, etc.
- The are many complex assets in the estate
- Real property owned in different states
- There are more debts than assets
- Will contests ensue because one or more parties are dissatisfied
- Estate litigation
- Family dispute arises
- The executor is incompetent or is not proactive.
So many of these issues can be avoided or managed by having an experienced probate attorney. It is therefore always advisable for an executor to hire one especially when the estate is complex or shows potential for issues to arise.
How long does probate normally take?
It’s not always easy to tell how long probate will take. It may take a few months or even 2 years. It boils down to how fast the executor and probate attorney work, and whether complicated issues arise during the course of probate.
There are many steps with the probate process. A delay in one of these processes will cause the overall probate to take longer.
- Court petition and notification of concerned parties may take 1-3 months
- Payment of estate’s financial obligations may take 1-9 months.
- Transfer of legal ownership to estate may take 1-6 months
- Closing the estate is typically completed within 6 months.
With so many paperwork and legalities involved, a probate attorney can make things progress faster out of experience.
But there are still steps the executor needs to take.
Steps to helping your probate attorney make the probate process fast
1. Get a probate attorney quickly
As soon as the estate owner dies, probate can begin. There is so much to do and as the executor, you need to know what to do at each step of the way. When you hire a probate attorney quickly, they guide you on what needs to be done and proactive steps to take to ensure each next step moves efficiently.
2. Notify estate creditors quickly
Once probate begins, estate creditors have the legal right to come forward with their claims. But the responsibility lies on the executor to put out a public notice so that all creditors can come forward. This prevents drawbacks when a creditor later learns that probate has begun whereas the creditor payment aspect has long been concluded.
3. Inventory the assets on time
One aspect of the probate process is inventorying the estate. The executor must identify all assets owned by the decedent and valuate them. As the executor, you may also need to carry out professional appraisal before involving your attorney. Since the court is often involved with the inventorying process, it is also advisable to speak with your attorney first..
4. Complete tasks before their deadlines
There are deadlines associated with several activities in the probate process. For instance, income and estate tax return forms must be filed before a certain date. Failure to do so will attract penalties, and that alone can slow down the process. So it is important you take note of each deadline and complete the task beforehand.
5. Ensure your records are accurate
You should endeavor to keep accurate track of your expenses, debt and tax payment, etc. because you must present this record to the court before disbursing the estate to the beneficiaries. If the records are inaccurate, probate would be slowed down because you would not be given permission to disburse the estate.
Probating an estate in New York can take on a toll on the executor and the surviving family as a whole. A good probate attorney can minimize the stress, time and expenses. And adopting these probate tips, you can help your probate lawyer make probate go much faster.
Probate attorney near me New York
If you have recently lost a loved one or found that you are the executor in their will, it is advisable to get a probate lawyer quickly. New York probate is complex and not something you should go alone. Our expert New York probate attorneys are ready to give you all the help you need. Contact us today to speak with a probate lawyer near you New York.