As lawyers like to say, “It depends.” When a person dies, his or her entire financial life must be wound up, and every estate is different. Assets must be found, creditors identified and paid, and assets distributed to the proper beneficiaries. Probate is a process, not an event. Since we don’t know which estates will have many assets or a few, or which will have many creditors or none, probate law requires every estate to go through certain procedures, and those procedures take time. Additionally, some estates have more complicating issues than others. For most estates though, the average time to complete the process is approximately one year. Those estates with fewer complications can be completed in a little shorter time, but other estates may have different issues that cause them to remain open much longer.
Michael J. Kemmy
Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law