If your loved one has left you an inheritance, you should learn about speeding up the probate process. It’s the entire process in which a deceased person’s assets are distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries according to the deed.
The issue is it’s time-consuming, a lot more than you think. Sometimes, it even takes more than a year, especially if you don’t navigate the process properly. But don’t worry, as this won’t happen to you.
Below in this guide, we’ll provide you with six practical tips to help speed up the probate process, allowing you to access your inheritance sooner and with less hassle. So, let’s get started!
How Long Does Probate Take?
Probate is a longer process, usually taking six months to a year or even more, depending upon the complexity of the will. The entire process consists of different steps, starting from filing a petition for probate.
Sometimes, families don’t file petitions immediately, as the loss of a loved one can delay the process. Although it’s understandable, we suggest filing the probation petition in the first month after the death.
It’s because after filing the petition, sending notices also took time. In addition to that, factors such as the complexity of the estate, the presence of disputes, and the availability of necessary documentation can all influence the duration.
How To Speed Up The Probate Process After Death? 6 Practical Tips
Now you know how long the probate process takes, usually six months to a year or more in case you don’t follow the process in the right way. To help you out, we’ll share six tips to guide you on what you can do and how it will help.
1. Understand The Process
First, understand the process; without it, you won’t be able to work efficiently. It’s important to note that probate cases fall into two primary categories: those in which the deceased person left a will and those in which no will exists.
In cases when the will exists, the process of transferring inheritance becomes faster. However, in other cases, the law of inheritance transfer will be applied. And if someone in the family disagrees and goes to court, it can take much longer.
2. Get A Death Certificate
You must know that in every step, whether it’s about filing the petition or sending notices to all parties, you need a death certificate. Death certificates serve as official proof that the person has passed away.
If you don’t have a death certificate, the process of probate will be longer. To save this time, gather the hospital documents and apply for the death certificate in the local govt department. In California, the CDPH department issues the death certificate.
3. Collect Details About Inheritance
Till the death certificate comes, it’s a good idea to collect details about the inheritance. This includes identifying the various assets that the deceased person may have left behind, such as property, businesses, cars, and more.
Besides the property details, do research about the debts the deceased might have left behind. It’s important because all outstanding debts will need to be settled from the estate’s assets. Take the time to document these details and store them in a safe place.
4. Discuss Case With An Attorney
Once you gather all the documents and the info about the estate, discuss the case with your attorney. This step helps a lot as not everyone has knowledge of the complexities of law and probate cases.
Your attorney will guide you about the upcoming process, like what you should do when you file a probate petition. Apart from consultation, you also have the option to hire an attorney to handle the various tasks involved in the probate process on your behalf.
5. File Probate Petition
The next step is to file a probate petition in the court. You can easily do this with the help of an attorney; just make sure you have all the documents mentioned above to save time. Remember, the sooner you file for probation, the better it is for your case.
After filing the probation petition, send notices to everyone as soon as possible to avoid delay in the case. This includes all parties that are involved in this case, like all beneficiaries, the family of the deceased and so forth.
6. Avoid Possible Lawsuits
If you follow all the tips above, the process of a probate case will efficiently speed up. However, there’s one exception, which is lawsuits. Oftentimes, family members who disagree with the contents of the will may choose to initiate legal actions.
In this type of situation, the probate process can take a long time because legal disputes can be time-consuming and complex. You can avoid these possible lawsuits by solving the issue outside of court or before filing for probate.
We’ve answered your question about how to speed up the probate process with six tips. All of these tips are important to follow. Don’t pick and choose a few tips because it will end up making your probate process more difficult and longer.
If you want to wind up the probation case more quickly, we would suggest you hire an expert probate lawyer. You can hire from our CPT (California, Probate, Trust) law firm or any other lawyer firm you trust but don’t forget we offer one free consultation.
Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.