With the passing of a loved one, his or her estate will enter a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased will be managed and distributed.
Both cost and duration of the probate can vary substantially as a result of several factors. Basically, the value of the estate, the complexity of the estate and the local rules of probate court will determine cost and length of time to complete the estate administration. If estate planning documents have been well drafted, well funded and are properly in place, the length of time to close the estate and distribute the assets will be shortened considerably. If there are contests or disputes regarding the will amongst the beneficiaries or creditors, the length of time to finalize the administration will be affected as well as the costs involved. Generally, most estates can be settled within a nine to eighteen month time frame.
If the decedent owned his or her assets through a well-written and properly funded living trust, it is likely that the heirs will be able to reduce or avoid court-managed estate administration. The successor trustee as appointed through the trust will be able to administer the distribution of the decedent's assets as directed by the trust, with little or no intervention from the probate court.
If you have lost a loved one, call Nowak Law Group and we will help you through these difficult times.
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"Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate." - Ambrose Bierce
PROBATE & TRUST ADMINISTRATION