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How long does the probate process take?

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Usually the probate process can be finished within 7 months if everything goes smoothly and that’s 7 months from when you get appointed executor or administrator of an estate. Usually just to get the person appointed is a minimum of a month or two so we make it our goal to wrap up and estate at least within a year. If there are fights and disputes, perhaps it could take longer.

There’s also real property to deal with and if real property is being sold sometimes that just depends on how long it takes to sell the real property, but for the most part you have to keep an estate open for 7 months.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make distributions of assets sooner if there are enough assets to cover the debts. Occasionally an executor might make a distribution sooner because they know that they can get away with that, there are enough funds available, they are not really worried about making sure they have the mortgage paid off or anything like that.

And generally speaking, you have to keep that 7 month period open for creditors because if somebody comes along with a debt they are also entitled to some portion of the estate.

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