Some estates will be settled faster than others.
You have been named as an estate executor (or executrix, if female).
You are curious about the timeline for completing your duties.
Will it be straightforward and fast?
Surely with your attention to detail and drive it will go quickly.
According to a recent executor.com article titled “How Quickly Do I Need to Settle an Estate?,” it depends on the estate itself.
The court can impact the timeline.
Probate begins when you file the will with the court.
Ultimately, the probate court will make sure assets are distributed properly to beneficiaries.
Along the way, the court will schedule hearings.
In a way, you are at its mercy.
Before you begin your work with the estate assets, you need "letters testamentary" from the probate court.
The court may then set deadlines for you getting specific tasks accomplished, such as creating an "inventory" of all assets subject to probate.
Another factor is the size of the estate.
If the estate is larger, the process will likely take longer.
Similarly, the complexity of the assets would increase the time.
Is there a family business, farm, or ranch?
Family can also play a factor.
Beneficiaries may be grieving too much to deal with these issues.
Other family members may dispute the will.
Is there anything that can make the process more streamlined?
If the decedent was organized, then it proceed much more quickly.
What if the person died without a will (i.e., intestate)?
You can expect a long time to settle the estate.
The court will have to appoint an administrator and monitor the estate settlement.
No matter how you became the executor, your duties are the same.
It will take patience, diligence and strong communication.
Your role is important.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: executor.com (November 1, 2017) “How Quickly Do I Need to Settle an Estate?”