LA Probate Law: Average Time for Estate Administration
When a person dies, their estate must be dealt with and transferred to the beneficiaries. This is necessary by law. If the deceased individual did not have a will in place then the law will deal with the estate administration through the rule of intestacy. The process of dealing with a deceased individual’s estate and assets is known as ‘Estate Administration.’ The procedure will most frequently begin with an application for what is known as a ‘grant of representation. The probate administration process usually takes a minimum of eight months and can sometimes take several years. LA Probate Law has found that 65% of the estates were closed in less than 12 months. The average time for estates was 11.6 months. The administration process can be delayed by numerous problems including (i) contests over the will, (ii) contests over appointment of the administrator, (iii) creditor claims, and (iv) accounting issues. The earliest that an estate may be closed and distribution made to the heirs or beneficiaries is approximately six (6) months after the opening of the estate. However, it is unusual for all administrative duties to be finalized within that period of time.
Belongings to Be Dispersed
Probate is by no means a simple process. There are many different factors emotionally, financially and logistically that can cause difficulties and delays throughout the process of probate. A personal representative distributes assets only after petitioning the court for approval to do so. By forcing the a personal representative to file a petition, the court insures that the personal representative has followed all the required steps including asset gathering, notifying and resolving creditor issues and accounting. A personal representative is required to give all interested parties notice of any petition to distribute. LA Probate Law are experienced with all aspects of the administration process and can tell you whether a delay is reasonable or the result of delay by the personal representative. If appropriate, we can force change and even remove a lackadaisical personal representative. If a deceased person’s estate is below the statutory minimums, certain summary procedures may be followed which eliminate the necessity of full administration and the appointment of a personal representative. Probate length varies, all too rarely is probate clean cut and dealt with in a short space of time. The average length of time for probate to complete from start to finish is between six to nine months. Obvious delays occur through the mourning period but there are other factors that can cause a delay in proceedings. Any individual who believes they have a right to claim for the estate has six months from the deceased passing away to make a claim.
The post-death administration process rarely moves as quickly as the survivors would like. We are experienced with all aspects of the administration process and know how to focus the process to reach your goal as quickly as possible. Some delays in the estate probate administration process are a natural product of court proceedings. The complexity of the estate can require that the personal representative follow procedural steps before distributing assets to heirs. Some court delays, however, arise from claims and contests between the heirs or other interested parties. Usually, the best method for resolving these procedural hurdles is through effective negotiation and compromise. Other delays in the probate estate administration process result from an administrator not properly discharging his duties says LA Probate Law. A personal representative is charged by the court to engage in timely and orderly estate administration. Whether an administrator is not acting in a timely manner depend on the circumstances and nature of the estate. A personal representative who fails to perform his duties in a timely manner can held accountable and sometimes sanctioned by the court. Talk to friends, relatives, business associates, or someone you believe has been an executor to find whether they have any experience with an attorney they can recommend.
Estate administration can be a very emotional undertaking for the families of the deceased. It can be very stressful trying to deal with their loss at the same time as trying to deal with estate administration. That is why I would always advise individuals dealing with estate administration to seek professional help in the form of professional solicitors. Challenging as it may be, especially with the loved one’s refusal to go along with the best possible choice for them and their situation, we know we have to make the best choice for them and then live with that choice. Often guilt can accompany these difficult decisions, especially if these decisions went against the will of the loved one. Family members, too, will have differing opinions than you do, which further adds to the stress, confusion, and frustration. It also fuels some mighty powerful fights. Suddenly you find yourself in need of direction and guidance. Sometimes you just need a strong shoulder or a willing ear. This can come in the form of a best friend, trusted sibling, counselor, or a therapist, which I would highly recommend to keep you on track and healthy. You should ask a LA Probate Law attorney you are considering what experience he has in probate. If your loved one is still living, but you have come to the inevitable crossroads of making difficult decisions about assisted living, long-term care, etc., the emotional pressure and exhaustion can be enormous to see everything is well planned and carried out.