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The Plain English Attorney

It takes longer than you think

I often get the question about how long probate is going to take. Honestly, it takes as long as it takes. The typical time for probate is between six months a year-and-a-half – and that’s just the average. There are so many different estates that have so many different characteristics and assets; with some having more complications than others. For an estate to go two years or more is really not unheard of.

Expediting the process

One of the things we always try to do for our clients is to get everything done by the first year. We want to be as quick and efficient as possible. Unfortunately, there are some things that stand in the way from that happening. We have a lot of clients who are the executors or administrators who do not want to turn over that responsibility to us. Despite good intentions, things are not done as precisely as they should have been, which delays the process. More time is also lost when people need to take time off from work to come into the law office to get things signed. To help our clients cut down on that time period, we offer to act as personal representative for the estate – either as the executor or the administrator.

When we act as the personal representative, then typically the beneficiaries only have to sign receipts to get their inheritance. We take care of all of the other court paperwork.

Case in Point

We are just finishing up one case that has taken four months longer than it needed to just because there were co-executors that did not want to turn the process over to us. One of the executors lived out of town and we had to keep sending paperwork back and forth – all of which needed to be signed and therefore involved trips to a notary.

I wish I could be more precise about the time probate takes, but that’s just how the nature of estates goes — except that the process can be substantially shortened with the help of a qualified attorney who acts as the estate’s administrator.

If you are a North Carolina resident or if the deceased is from North Carolina, you are also welcome to give our office a call at (919) 844-7993.

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