If you pass away and your estate goes into probate, your heirs probably hope it wraps up quickly. Unfortunately, it may not. This process can drag on for weeks or months, depending on a lot of different factors.
To see why it takes longer for some estate than others, just ask these questions:
- Does the estate hold a lot of debt that has to be taken care of?
- Are there any tax implications?
- Are the assets fairly complicated or are they simple?
- How many people are going to inherit part of the estate?
- Where do all of those people live? Do any of them live so far away that it makes meetings problematic?
- Are there going to be any disputes or is anyone planning to challenge the will?
- Is there even an estate plan? Does the estate come with a will or is everything going through the court?
The best way to make things go quickly and smoothly, of course, is to address a lot of this up front. Naturally, writing a will and doing your estate planning answers a lot of questions. It can help to limit disagreements and disputes. You can take care of things like debts and taxes so that your heirs do not have to worry about it.
There are enough things you cannot change, such as where your heirs live or how well they get along individually. By tackling some of the issues you can address, you can have a positive impact on the proceedings. Be sure you know what steps to take as you do your planning.