Posted on November 9, 2018

How Long Does the Estate Administration Process Take?

In most situations the process takes at least nine months. This is because there is a statute that allows creditors of the estate to file claims against the estate to officially announce the fact they are owed money by the estate. Executors should not pay beneficiaries until all creditors have been paid. If executors pay beneficiaries before nine months have passed from the time the decedent has died then the executor (or administrator in an intestate estate) can be personally responsible for paying the debt. Personal liability is something executors want to avoid at all costs so the rule is you should not pay the beneficiaries until nine months have passed. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances of the estate, the process take take a long time. It can take a year or more or possibly even many years. The more complicated the estate the more time it might take. An example of something that make the process take longer is a piece of property that isn’t selling. If you can’t sell the property to raise the money to pay the beneficiaries then the estate can’t close. However, in situations where the estate is delayed because the executor isn’t doing the work that needs to be done the creditors and/or beneficiaries can go to court to try to move things along.

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