When someone passes away (the “decedent”) and leaves a last will and testament, you generally have to probate the will. If there is no will, then the estate may have to go through an intestate probate to determine who will inherit.
Probate can be a time consuming process. There are some things that cause delays and make the process take even longer. An executor of an estate should hire an experienced probate lawyer to provide assistance during the probate process and move the process along as quickly and effectively as possible. With help from Parman & Easterday,you can avoid most unnecessary delays and finish probate as quickly as possible. Give us a call to find out more about how to move through probate in a timely manner.
Causes of Delay When you Probate a Will
According to Investopedia, probate takes around a year, with some estates taking slightly less time and some estates taking more time. Probate takes time because notice must be provided to creditors, as well as to heirs or beneficiaries; additional time is allowed so claims can be made against the estate; time is allowed for the Court to validate the will; and additional time is allowed so the executor or administrator is able to formally transfer property. Even in a best case scenario, getting through all these steps quickly is difficult.
When things go wrong, the probate process can take a lot longer. Some things that cause delay in the probate of a will or intestate estate include the following:
- Delay in filing the right paperwork. Sometimes, it takes time to determine the proper county in which to file for probate. This is true if a deceased person owns property in different locations and multiple probate proceedings are needed.
- A will contest: If someone contests a will, this can extend the time needed for probate significantly as time must be provided for pleadings to be submitted and arguments made to the Court both for and against the enforcement of the will.
- Multiple wills: If there are different wills, it takes time for the Court to deal with all of them and determine which is the most current will and whether the most current will is intended to be a complete expression of the wishes of the deceased or just an update to a prior will.
- Executor unable to fulfill his obligations: If an executor of an estate does anything wrong during the probate process, it may become necessary to remove the executor. The executor has a fiduciary duty and if this duty is breached, legal action can be taken against the executor of an estate. Likewise, if an executor becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unavailable to complete the probate, the process will be delayed until other arrangements can be made.
- A large estate: If the estate is a large estate with lots of different kinds of property, the process of probating the estate and transferring property to new owners will almost always take longer.
There are many other reasons for delays. Parman & Easterday can assist you in identifying the factors that might cause a holdup in the probate process in which you are involved and can help you to move forward in a timely and efficient way.
How to Minimize Delay When you Probate a Will
An executor of an estate can reduce delays by hiring a skilled legal professional as soon as possible after death. Parman & Easterday understands what is required in a probate and can provide assistance in filing the proper paperwork and moving things forward as quickly as possible.
An attorney can also provide assistance when different issues arise during probate. If heirs or beneficiaries want to have an executor removed for not doing his job properly, an experienced attorney can assist with ensuring the proper protocol is followed. If a will is contested, an attorney can argue for or against enforcement. When money and property are at stake, getting the right help is important and Parman & Easterday is here to provide the assistance you need.
Getting Help from An Experienced Probate Lawyer in Oklahoma City
Parman & Easterday can offer assistance with all aspects of the probate process to help you avoid unnecessary delays. Our legal team can also help you to create an estate plan that aims to avoid probate or at least transfer some of your assets outside of it so your family can inherit more quickly.
To learn more about estate planning and the probate process, join us for a free seminar. For personalized help with all aspects of probate and planning ahead for your legacy, give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or contact us online today.