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What can one do to expedite the probate process?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Probate

Losing a relative can be emotionally challenging, and dealing with the probate process can add stress to an already difficult situation. This is perhaps especially true where the deceased did not leave a clear will or testament, or their will was created when they were mentally incapacitated.

The probate process can take anywhere between four to six months. Thankfully, there are several steps that one can take to keep the probate process moving along as quickly as possible.

Gather necessary documents promptly

Essential documents such as death certificates, the original will (if available), financial statements, property deeds and any relevant trust documents should be gathered promptly. Ensuring all paperwork is organized and readily accessible can help streamline the probate process.

File a probate petition right away

The sooner you file the probate petition with the court, the faster the process can begin. This initiates the legal proceedings necessary to distribute the deceased’s assets according to state law. It’s important to file the petition accurately and include all required documentation to avoid delays or complications.

Notify creditors and beneficiaries as soon as possible

Notify creditors of the deceased’s passing to initiate the creditor claim period, during which they can make claims against the estate. Additionally, promptly notifying beneficiaries named in the will or heirs if there is no will can help move the process along smoothly. Clear communication with all involved parties can prevent disputes and expedite the distribution of assets.

Avoid possible lawsuits whenever possible

Avoid possible lawsuits by considering mediation or settlement options for any disputes that arise during the probate process. Mediation allows parties to negotiate and resolve conflicts outside of court, potentially saving time and money. Settlement agreements can help avoid lengthy litigation and expedite the distribution of assets.

Seeking legal counsel can potentially provide greater peace of mind during a challenging time and help alleviate some of the burden on family members dealing with the probate process. Making this effort can also help to ensure that all legal requirements are met and that the process moves forward efficiently.