How long does probate take?

How long does probate take? It’s a frequent question when a family member of a deceased person is taking on the role of executor.

In Illinois, an executor (and family members) should expect the process to take a minimum of six months. That period of time allows the executor to open the estate, and for the period in which creditors may file claims to run.

Sometimes, the process takes longer than six months. For example, when the estate must pay taxes, the probate process can last eighteen months or longer, until the tax return is accepted. Also, when there are will contests, the probate process will take significantly longer, until those claims are litigated or resolved.

While the estate is open, there will be a delay in distributing at least some of the assets.

Certain estate planning mechanisms, including trusts and designations that transfer the asset upon death, can make an asset not subject to probate. This can help alleviate the potential delays, and allow the beneficiaries to use the asset sooner than it otherwise may have been available.

If alleviating delays or avoiding costs that could burden your family are important objectives, estate planning may offer help achieve them. Let’s talk more about it at Windy City Legal today.