How Long Does Probate Take? Great question…as with many legal estate questions, it depends.
First, you should know that probate is the legal process for transferring the property of a deceased person to their beneficiaries as well as paying off any remaining taxes and debts of the deceased. If a loved one has passed away and you find yourself in the role as executor of the will then you will be overseeing the probate process with the courts in Utah.
So how long does probate take in Utah? What can you expect and how does the process work? Read on for a general timeline for how long it takes to settle an estate.
How Long Does Probate Take?
Ask friends or family that have gone through probate and their answers could vary greatly. In Utah, the minimum amount of time that probate takes is a couple of weeks to three months most of time. Many probates take less than a year, though there are several factors that impact how long probate takes:
Location of the Executor
If the person who is court appointed to act as executor of the estate doesn’t live in the state or nearby this could slow down the process. Probate can generally be resolved in a faster timeline when the representative overseeing the estate lives close by to take care of signing and delivering all the documents to the court. While it’s not necessary or required to live in the same city or state as the deceased in order to be appointed the executor, having a local executor can help probate move along at a faster pace.
Number and Interests of the Beneficiaries
If the person who passed on left a will then they will have listed out all the beneficiaries of their estate. If there is a large number of beneficiaries and if they live farther away from the estate then you can plan on that affecting the speed of the probate process as well. The more people involved is not a bad thing, it just takes more time to get all the documents to the people who need them, acquire the proper signatures etc.
In some cases a beneficiary doesn’t agree with how the executor is handling the estate and they can hire their own attorney to monitor the probate process. This often can slow down the probate process as these types of attorneys look over every detail of the executor and add to the time it takes to finish the probate process.
If the deceased left a will then one of the beneficiaries could contest the will. A will can be contested if it wasn’t signed legally, there is fraud involved, if it can be proved that it was written under duress or influence or when not at full mental capacity. If a beneficiary were to contest the will then the probate can remain open for a very long time and include a court trial.
If the deceased left a will then probate is still required in the state of Utah but it will help speed up the process. With a will in hand a judge will appoint an executor if someone wasn’t already delineated in the will and the executor will take care of the process from there.
Probate can only be avoided if the deceased left their estate in a living trust. A trust has the power to bypass the probate period and no case is opened with the court.
No Will or Trust
If there is no will then probate can take longer because the court becomes more involved in the process of closing the estate. A judge would need to appoint the executor and state law would determine which heirs will receive bequests from the estate and in what amounts. Each step of probate takes longer without a will left by the deceased.
Amount of Debt
A large part of closing an estate involves paying the taxes and debts of the decedent. Once this process has taken place than the beneficiaries can receive their share of the estate. The process of paying off debts and taxes can take longer than you would think. Debtors, creditors and potential creditors must all be notified of the death of the decedent and their claims reviewed and settled. Estates with large amounts of debt will take longer in the probate process than those without.
So How Long Does Probate Take in Utah?
Plan on 4 months being the shortest reasonable time you can expect probate to take. If you know of factors like an out-of-state executor, multiple beneficiaries or a heavily in-debt estate then you can plan on the probate process taking longer.
How We Can Help With Your Probate in Utah
Being named an executor of a will is a big responsibility and you might not know where to begin. If you’ll be inheriting a house that you want to sell and you want to speed up the probate process then call Gary with Gary Buys Houses. He can give you a fast quote on your home and walk you through the steps for a fast and easy probate process. Gary is a trusted real estate investor in the state of Utah and he’s ready to help you today.