When a person dies, their estate generally goes to probate. The probate process varies by state, but in most cases, it can take several months or years, depending on the court caseload and the case’s complexity.
Understanding what causes delays in the probate process may help you avoid them.
What are the most common reasons for probate delays?
The more beneficiaries there are, the longer an estate will take to settle through probate. Each beneficiary has to be notified and has to sign the required documentation. If beneficiaries live far apart, then that can further delay the process. Estates that have assets in more than one state have to deal with probate courts in each jurisdiction.
There may be additional delays when an executor has to file an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 706. Fortunately, Mississippi does not have an inheritance tax, which prevents more delays.
Estates with unique assets such as patents, mineral rights, or rare collections will require appraisals before their disbursement. It’s not uncommon for there to be delays if an estate contains assets that are challenging to liquidate. An executor may have to sell those assets or see if the beneficiary may be willing to take on ownership of them as-is.
Beneficiaries can also delay the probate process if they can’t get on the same page. Anyone who questions the validity of a will may delay the probate process as well. The same logic applies if a testator appointed an executor who’s ill-equipped to handle the duties and responsibilities to guide the estate through probate.
Help in navigating the probate process
The probate process begins the minute a Mississippi executor files a decedent’s will with the court. It can be a long and complicated process, and a beneficiary may have a lot of questions. An attorney can provide you with the necessary answers to help the process go more smoothly here in Flowood.