Creating And Protecting Your Legacy

3 potential causes of probate delays to anticipate

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Probate and Estate Administration |

Many factors can cause probate delays and anticipating these can help manage expectations for how long the probate process might take and, if possible, allow involved parties to develop strategies to avoid them or at least minimize their impact to the timeline.

Here are common reasons that can cause delays in the probate process:

1. Inaccurate and incomplete documentation

Estate plan documents that are inaccurate or incomplete can delay the probate proceedings. This includes un-updated wills, poorly drafted documents or missing asset records. If the necessary information is not current or complete, it can take time to identify all of the deceased’s assets, particularly if there is no comprehensive list.

Moreover, it can also take time to locate beneficiaries or creditors without sufficient information.

2. Disputes and challenges

If a beneficiary or potential heir contests the will or if there are disputes among family members, this can significantly extend the probate timeline. Legal challenges require court involvement and can lead to lengthy and costly legal proceedings.

3. Assets in multiple locations

If the deceased owned property in different states or countries, probate might be necessary in each jurisdiction and coordinating this can be time-consuming, especially since each state has different laws on probate and estate administration.

The power of anticipation

While there is no guarantee that your probate process will be delay-free, anticipating the possible causes of delays allows you to prepare strategies to minimize them and make the process as smooth as possible. This approach usually requires an understanding of the rules of probate and estate administration, which is possible through the guidance of an experienced probate attorney.