Probate could be completed within few weeks, this, only if there are no complexities in the estate document. Also, the process could take years before a compromise or resolute is made in settling the estate. The time duration of a probate process in New York cannot be predicted, however, several factors can typically elongate the process. There are several process involved in a probate process of a Will, all of which are essential to implementing the deed/ statements made of the documents. Typically, the document states how the decedent’s assets are distribute to named beneficiaries. As such the probate court carefully follow through the whole process from initiating the probate proceeding to distributing the estate.
Possible causes of longer probate.
- Wrong estate executor.
An executor is appointed at the start of the probate to oversee the whole process. Often times, the executor would have been named in the last Will by the decedent to ensure that he adequately ensure implementation of the estate plan. Peradventure, the estate’s executor also called personal representative lacks the expertise and professionalism required to carry out the deeds of the estate document, the probate process would be dragged and delayed. An executor is a very important figure during probate processes and as such you should be careful whom you selected to defend your interest.
- Complex estate properties.
Generally, probate process of a small estate require just a few documents and estate affidavit to pass down the assets to named beneficiaries. Most states, just like New York have limits and requirements for estate to be small enough for less strict probate process. Typically, estate plan like this include just few assets. However, estate involving multiple bank accounts, houses, businesses, family or joint business would go through much longer probate. Estate document containing these complex assets attracts full probate process to ensure that mistakes are filtered and only right beneficiaries get what belong to them.
- Estate properties located in different states
If a decedent estate contain assets located in several state, then a longer probate is likely going to happen. Each states has its regulations as to how estate documents should be prepared, also formalities taken in implementing the estate plans. As such having estate properties across different states would require time to reconcile each estate plans of each state. Only then would probate commence In New York. It is important to involve the services of an experience probate attorney in this dire situation.
- Taxable estates
Some estate properties are subject to federal estate taxes. Usually, estate exceeding $11.5 million are taxed. However, estate are taxed at some state, but at much lower estimated than the federal imposed taxes. The time require to calculate the taxes incurred on an estate makes probate longer. Taxable estate require that it is cleared by the IRS (internal Revenue Service) before probate can be completed. Typically, this takes 5 to 7 months after an estate tax return is filled. This duration is a whole lot of time to complete probate for small estate.
- Notifying creditors and paying off debts.
Paying off debt owed by the decedent is a major step in completing a probate process. If the decedent owed lots of people, then more time is spent trying to get the right figures and paying the debts. Quite interestingly, creditors must be notified of the decedent death and given time to file their claims. The duration given to creditors to make this claim take as long as seven months in New York. Only when all debts have been paid and creditors settled would the estate plan be implemented.
- Will contest
Will contest is perhaps one of the most prevalent causes of long probate durations. Parties who are beneficiaries of a decedent properties may feel cheated or left out in the statement of the will. As such they may decide to petition the court on the authenticity of the Will. Typically, Will contest are initiated in probate court based off that, the decedent was coerced to writing the Will the way he/she did, the will was not created with proper formalities of creating estate documents in New York, or the decedent created the Will with influence of a named beneficiary. Probate process is usually dragged through the whole proceeding of a Will contest.
Some of the estate might have been sold or used to raise funds to pay off debts, creditors, taxes and expenses incurred during probate. However when all these is completed, the probate attorney or executor proceeds to sharing the remaining estate. The implementation of the estate plan is usually the last phase after probate
Contact a probate attorney near you today to have a smooth probate process.