It is common to feel frustrated by the probate process, especially because it often comes at a time when families are already dealing with intense grief and high tensions. Unfortunately, going through probate means that certain elements are outside of your control, and one of those elements is how long the probate process takes.
As we have covered previously on our blog, probate is the process by which a court settles the estate of a decedent. The court generally reviews the decedent’s will or estate documents, validates those documents, settles any possible disagreements, and makes sure the decedent’s assets are then distributed to her or his beneficiaries.
The amount of time that probate takes depends on a variety of factors. We rarely see cases in which probating a will takes more than one year, although of course, there are always exceptions. If a person’s estate is more complicated, it will take more time to move through probate; for example, if the decedent had significant assets or debts, the court might take longer to review the decedent’s will.
If family members or loved ones disagree about who is supposed to receive assets or how the court should interpret the decedent’s estate documents, this can also elongate the probate process. In addition, if a decedent’s assets are more complex in nature (for example, assets in the form of business interests or assets that are subject to an estate tax), the process could take longer than usual.
Luckily, you do not have to go through the probate process alone. One major way to make probate as efficient and straightforward as possible is to hire an estate planning attorney that can advocate for your needs, ensure the proper procedures are being followed, and advise you when you inevitably come to a crossroads.
You can also make the probate process much simpler for your loved ones and beneficiaries if you go through the estate planning process now, setting up a will or trust so that when you leave family members behind, they can have the advantage of presenting a clear set of documents to the court. This can help your family members by making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible when the court begins reviewing your estate.
Do You Have an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?
If you are either beginning or in the midst of the probate process in Texas, the best thing you can do for yourself is hire a qualified, caring attorney that will make things as simple as possible for you and your family. At McCulloch & Miller, our firm takes on a holistic approach to each case and each client, which helps families identify, access, and pay for quality services to enjoy a high quality of life outside of their legal needs. If you need representation, give us a call today at 713-597-7176. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about your circumstances and have someone reach back out as soon as possible.