A person who passes away with a will transfers their property to the beneficiaries named in the will under testate. A person who passes away without a will has their property distributed through a state’s intestate succession laws. The laws define which relatives receive an inheritance in New York. Probate court charges for the documents whether an estate is testate or intestate.
How long does the probate and estate administration process take?
A probate and estate administration process could take four months or two years. Many factors determine how long the probate process takes. The size of the estate and how much of the property transfers outside of probate are major factors. Questions of the validity of the will from family members could lead to a will contest or lawsuit. Real estate issues involve difficulties transferring a title or locating the property. Challenges from outstanding debts could take longer to clear. The estate may run into tax or debt problems if there isn’t enough money in the estate.
Estate administration timeline
Notifying people and institutions of the person’s date of death takes up to four months. A judge may schedule a court hearing for the petition, which takes up to four months. Notifying the IRS, local newspapers and creditors take about six months. An estate appraisal or lawsuit for debt collection may take up to a year. Paying bills such as funeral expenses, legal fees, property taxes and estate administration costs takes up to one year. Negotiations with any creditors and tax clearance letters from the IRS take up to one year. A petition to distribute property takes up to 15 months. A hearing on the petition and an order approval takes up to 16 months. Distribution of the assets to beneficiaries and the final discharge order take up to 18 months. The final distribution of estate funds concludes the estate administration and takes nine months to two years.
Certain costs and fees that go along with the probate process include court costs, attorney fees and personal representative fees. The estate itself usually pays these fees, which is why people try to avoid probate. People should have experts to help them understand the probate process.