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Why does probate sometimes take longer than expected?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Administration

Waiting to receive assets can be frustrating for the loved ones of someone who recently died. They may feel probate is taking too long and push you, as the executor, to move things along a bit faster.

You probably wish that you could hurry things up, but that’s not always possible. Here are some of the reasons probate might take longer than the heirs of an estate may hope:

1. There were unrealistic expectations.

Probate is always going to take months rather than weeks. If they were unaware of that, they might get upset without reason. They might underestimate how much is involved and forget that an executor cannot halt their whole life just to execute the estate. 

2. It can take a while to get needed responses.

As executor, you need to contact various people during the process, including companies that the deceased still owed money to and anyone else named as a beneficiary. One person’s delayed response could slow the whole process down. Some people can be hard to get hold of because they have moved without leaving new contact details or are out on military service, on an offshore oil rig or in another remote place.

3. There are multiple executors, and they cannot agree.

Sometimes a person names multiple executors to provide extra security. While this can reduce your workload, you might not always agree with each other, and that can slow the whole process.

4. Someone is disputing the will

Sometimes family members come out of the woodwork to fight for a share of someone’s estate. Other times, they were there all along but contest the will because they believe they should be due more.

If you feel that people are trying to pressure you into executing a will faster, remember that legal help is available to know how to handle the situation.