While everyone is mourning and finding out ways to bury a loved one who had recently passed away, isn’t there supposed to be someone else assigned to handle the deceased’s estate? I know this question is what many people would’ve asked at one point in time but the fact here is that loosing a loved one can literally overshadow anything.
During that particular sad period, even the recommendation of a probate attorney may not be welcomed by the relatives of the deceased. This all brings us to the questions concerning the time limit of filing a probate but before we look into this, let’s talk about the necessity of a probate.
Is a probate necessary or not?
Most people find it very difficult to go through the probate process which would take a lot of their time, so they begin to ask questions concerning how necessary a probate is. If you are one of those individuals then you should note the following in order to know wether a probate is needed or not.
- The value and complexity of the estate you’re to handle
- Properties held in a living trust by the deceased
- If the deceased had joint ownership accounts or properties
- If the deceased had life insurance for which a beneficiary has already been named
- If the deceased had pay-on-death accounts or transfer-on-death accounts.
There are many other things to be considered but the ones listed above are just the few basic ones that would help you determine if you need a probate or not. So with all these, we can now move on to the most important question we need an answer to.
How early must a probate be filed?
The truth here is that there is actually no specific time limit within which you should file for a probate and it can be filed anytime after the confirmation of the death. Sometimes, people even wait for months to pass before they start considering how they should go about the whole probate process.
The fact here is that it’s all based on how urgent the relatives need the properties, assets and other items owned by the deceased before his or her death. The relatives or people who were very close to the deceased may not be ready to handle the estate left behind so this is why most of them end up delaying the whole process.
Are there disadvantages of filing a probate late?
One of the issues that you may have to watch out for before delaying the probate is the filing of the Inheritance Tax returns especially if it is the long inheritance form. If it’s the long inheritance return form that is being used, then it has to be submitted within a year of the death of your loved one.
Another issue here is that as an administrator of a deceased person’s estate, the relatives of the deceased may be expecting a quick response from you to handle the estate. This can only happen when you have a permission to do so and the only way you can get that permission is through the probate process. So if those relatives notice that you are delaying with filing the probate, then they might have to look for a probate attorney or someone else who they feel is more effective to file it quickly.
Lastly, you may need to do whatever you want to do with the deceased’s estate in accordance to the will very quickly so that it won’t fall into the wrong hands. Some dubious people have created diabolical means to steal dead people’s properties especially when their relatives aren’t showing signs of interest in them.
Need an estate planning attorney?
If you want to plan your estate, and you need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, please, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, if you need help with updating your estate plan, you can contact our office as well. We boast of competent estate planning attorney who can help in creating an estate plan that suits your needs.