When a family member dies, once you have dealt with the funeral, your priorities will turn toward guiding their estate through probate. Yet, many families do not realize that this can be a slow process — especially when probate is involved.
Even if everything is in order, it can still take a few months to get through the system. Understanding what could slow down the process can help you avoid making the situation worse.
Challenges to a will can cause considerable delays
Of all the things that could happen to delay probate, the worst is a challenge to the will.
If someone feels they have been unfairly excluded or are not receiving what they should, they may decide to contest the will. Not only can this take a long time to resolve, but it can also cause massive family rifts, which might never heal.
If you believe you have reason to contest a will, seek legal advice to understand what that will entail, how long it will take, how much it will cost and how likely you will succeed. Only then can you make an informed decision about whether the lawsuit is worth it.
Working with multiple heirs can also lead to delays
When you pass a family member’s will through probate, you may need to consult with other family members on certain matters. Some documents may require more than one of you to sign. It only takes one person who is not communicative or unavailable to slow the whole process down.
Handling someone’s estate can be complicated. If you don’t get things right the first time, you will need to redo them, which leads to unnecessary delays and expenses. That is why many people choose to bring in outside help from someone with experience in the probate process