Length of Probate– How to Speed up the Process by Planning Ahead

The probate process can be stressful on all parties involved, especially the personal representative. The process involves many tasks and responsibilities that can extend across several months. That being said, effective estate planning procedures can make the process a bit more manageable for all. The following aspects, to the extent possible, should be communicated long before a testator’s passes away:

-Roles and duties of the personal representative(s)
-Identity and location of all known assets
-Identity and location of all known creditors
-Expected tax implications of probate administration; details on how to pay such taxes
-Precautions to avoid quarrels between beneficiaries
-Role the court is expected to play

Assuming that all of these concerns are properly addressed in advance, the typical probate estate will likely settle in about six months time. To minimize delays, the personal representative, having immediate authority upon testator’s death or court appointment, should initiate probate soon after death.

Photo by: Alan Cleaver