This is a frequently asked question. The answer depends on a variety of factors! When you ask your attorney this question, be prepared for a myriad of questions to follow. Did the decedent have a Will and/or Trust? Were the documents properly executed and Trusts properly funded? Are there multiple Personal Representatives? What assets did the decedent own and how were they titled? Did the decedent have any unpaid debts? How many beneficiaries are there and how are they related? Do you expect anyone to contest the Will? Personal Representatives are required to go through an administrative Court process by which they identify and account for all estate assets. Searching for information about assets, or debts, failing to properly notice creditors, coordination with multiple entities in multiple jurisdictions, disagreements among beneficiaries, and a full Court docket are all situations that cause probate to last longer than expected. Speak with your attorney if you have questions about the probate process.
-Emily A. Helmick, Esq.