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IN THE SECTION

Why it may take a while to settle your Indiana loved one’s estate

| Jan 21, 2021 | estate administration & probate |

The passing of a loved one can be a traumatic experience. It’s no wonder that heirs often want to tie up loose ends with their estate so that they can continue privately grieving their relative’s loss.

Sentiments such as these often lead to heirs asking why the probate process takes so long. Many different factors can slow it down. 

What happens with a loved one’s assets following their passing?

The executor generally must file a testator’s will with the probate court in the county in which they resided at the time of their death. An executor must generally notify any of the testator’s creditors of their passing and inventory the deceased’s assets for safekeeping before distributing them. 

Testators can avoid having some of their assets pass through the probate process by setting up a trust. Many testators do this to ensure that they get their hands on their assets more quickly than they otherwise would if they had to go through the probate process.

The most common causes of delays during the probate process

How long it takes for a case to pass through probate depends on how busy the court’s schedule is and its degree of complexity. 

It tends to take longer to probate estates when testators previously lived in multiple states, especially if they must file various tax returns for them in each jurisdiction. It can take longer if the testator has multiple beneficiaries to notify them of the testator’s passing and wait for them to return it.

Testators may have rare collections, an ownership stake in a business or intellectual property rights. An executor may need to have an appraiser assign a value to them before selling them or distributing assets to any beneficiaries. 

Instances in which someone contests a will may also cause delays. The bad blood between beneficiaries often leads to this. So, too, may an executor’s mismanagement and subsequent removal from their role may also delay the settlement of an estate. 

Administering an Indiana estate if an executor hasn’t done so before isn’t easy. You may find it more helpful to have an estate administration & probate attorney guide you through the process here in Lawrenceburg so that you’ll know what your rights are and what to expect.