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What Can Slow Down Probate?

Probate Lawyer

Probate is the legal process in which a will is proven valid in court. An experienced Fort Collins, CO probate lawyer from W. B. Moore Law LLC. explains that the process has a reputation of being long and tedious. Here are some things that can slow down the probate process.

Multiple Beneficiaries

Generally, the more beneficiaries there are, the longer it can take to settle an estate. The executor must get in touch with each beneficiary to notify them about the probate process. Unfortunately, not every beneficiary may be that easy to get a hold of. Some beneficiaries may also take longer to sign required documents, which can slow things down too.

Unfit Executor

Being an executor of an estate is a big job, and not everyone is up for the task. If the executor is too busy to tend to the estate or is very disorganized, it can definitely slow down probate. The executor might not file the necessary paperwork on time or neglect to notify all of the beneficiaries. That is why it is critical to choose the right executor for your will. Ideally, the executor you appoint should be honest, organized, financially savvy and responsible. He or she should also live fairly close and have the time to do the job.

Assets That Aren’t Easy to Value

Certain assets, like homes and financial accounts, are easy to value. Other assets, on the other hand, aren’t so simple to value. For example, certain artwork and collectables can be quite difficult to value. People may have different opinions on the value of these assets, which can make the probate process take longer.

Challenges in the Will

There is always a chance that a beneficiary will contest a will. If a beneficiary believes that he or she is not getting a fair share, that person may decide to contest the will in court. The beneficiary may hire his or her own attorney, which can definitely slow things down. There are several things you can do to reduce the chance of will changes, including putting a no-contest clause in your estate plan, creating a trust and videotaping the will signing. It may also be a good idea to communicate your wishes to your family members beforehand. If they understand the reasoning behind your decisions, they may be less likely to challenge the will.

Assets in Multiple States

Ideally, assets will be located in just one state. However, sometimes people may own assets in multiple states. For example, they might have a vacation home in a different state than they live in. In this scenario, that home will have to go through probate in that state before the entire probate process can be completed.

No Transfer on Death Designation

If an asset with a lien doesn’t have a transfer on death designation, you can’t transfer the asset without first paying the creditor the debt. This can definitely make the probate process take longer.

If you need assistance with probate, you should schedule an appointment with an attorney that specializes in probate law today.