Probate is not always a long process even though many people think that it is. A simple estate can often move through the process quickly. However, complex estates will usually take more time.
According to SmartAsset, you can usually tell how long probate will take by assessing the complexity of the estate. Sometimes, though, there may be things that can impact even a simple estate and make the process drag out.
Issues with the estate
Any estate can have problems that will make it more difficult to go through probate. If there is someone who is upset in the family, he or she could contest the will. This will require the judge to hear testimony and make a ruling as to the validity of the will.
There is also the potential for issues with the executor. The executor has the job of managing the estate, which includes ensuring the maintenance of assets and proper distribution of assets. An issue with the executor could stall probate.
Another thing that could slow down probate is if the deceased owes a debt, including taxes. When you pass away, it does not automatically wipe out your debts. Creditors have the right to make claims against the estate. The executor will have to pay valid debts from the estate. In some cases, there may be problems with paying debts or you may need to validate debts, which can slow down the process.
It is best if you can try to foresee any issues with your estate and address them while you are still alive so that the probate process after your death can move along swiftly.