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Why does the probate process take so long to complete?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2021 | Probate |

Settling the estate of a loved one after he or she passes away can be complicated and sometimes confusing, especially probate. Probate is the process of paying off remaining debts, locating beneficiaries and ultimately distributing estate assets. This process can be quite difficult, and it can take months or even years to complete. If you are an executor of someone’s estate, it may be helpful for you to learn about potential consequences that may arise during probate. 

Probate is a complex legal process, and certain factors can additional complications. This can mean the process will take longer. As an interested party, knowing what can add time to probate and cause you additional frustration may be useful. Understanding this could help you avoid problems and streamline the process so you and other loved ones can move forward. 

Potential problems and issues 

Every estate is different, and how probate will work may differ on a case-by-case basis. There are various things that may cause delays during probate, but some of the most common issues that can cause probate to take longer to complete include: 

  • The decedent did not have a will, there are disputes over the validity of the existing will or there are multiple wills. 
  • The beneficiaries live far way, or it has been difficult to contact heirs or beneficiaries. 
  • The estate must file tax returns and pay additional taxes, or there are problems with tax returns filed by the estate. 
  • The estate contains unusual assets or assets for which it is difficult to obtain an accurate value. 
  • There are too many beneficiaries, or there are issues with the executor of the estate. 

These are only examples of issues that could lead to delays in probate. A Tennessee family navigating the process of settling an estate may benefit from a better understanding of how the probate process works.  

Protecting rights and interests 

Most people are not familiar with what happens during the probate process. It can be frustrating to deal with the legal challenges associated with settling an estate, which is why it is helpful to learn about how to avoid setbacks and problematic issues during this process. If there are problems, all interested parties may want to take specific steps that will allow them to protect their rights and interests.