Generally, the more the issues are in probate, the longer the proceeding will be. Consequently, the longer the proceeding takes, the costlier the fees will be. If your loved one’s estate is about to go through probate, here are a few things you should know about avoiding delays in the process.
Ensuring complete and proper documentation
The administration of your loved one’s estate will heavily rely on the available documentation, including the following records:
- Official identification and certificates authenticating death and marriage
- An inventory of all assets
- Property titles and similar documents verifying estate assets
- Wills, trusts and other available estate planning tools
- List of debts and creditors
Incomplete and missing documents will prolong the process since the executor or administrator would have to investigate and find these records before they can move on to the next step.
Setting family members’ expectations
A common reason for delays in probate is when the decedent’s family and relatives raise a challenge on the estate asset’s distribution. For instance, will contests put a pause on the probate process since the court would have to address the issue first.
If you have authority within the family, you can discuss with them before the proceeding starts to set their expectations about their shares. This helps them know beforehand what will likely happen during the process instead of forcing what they think they deserve to get.
Seeking professional guidance
Probate is a complex process that leaves nonlegal individuals with confusion and plenty of questions. Working with a knowledgeable probate attorney can help you understand the process better and find ways to, if not expedite, avoid delays during the proceeding.