Q:

How long does probate take?

A:

Quick Answer

The length of a probate varies according to state law. According to the State Bar of Wisconsin, the probate process can take up to two years or longer, depending on the size and specifics of the estate.

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Full Answer

In Wisconsin, creditors have three months to file claims against the estate, and estate tax returns are due nine months after the death of the decedent. State law requires for estates to be closed within 18 months, and extensions can be granted.

The Ohio State Bar Association explains that probate is necessary in order to give the executor of the state the authority to disperse the assets of the decedent’s estate properly as well as pay any outstanding monies owed on taxes and to creditors. Small estates that do not have outstanding debts or tax obligations can be closed within six months, but larger estates or estates that are required to file federal estate tax returns can take longer than a year to close.

According to the Lucas County Probate Court in Ohio, if a tax audit occurs on a federal estate tax return, probate administration often takes an additional year to complete. Executors or administrators can't distribute assets until they're legally released from personal responsibility of estate taxes. Claims against estates can be made up to six months following a decedent's death.

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Related Questions

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    What are probate fees?

    A:

    Probate fees are the fees, such as attorney fees, court fees and personal representative fees, associated with probating a will, according to About.com. The overall cost of probate depends on the type and value of the probated property and varies by state. Court fees are dictated by state law.

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    How do you probate without an attorney or lawyer?

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    Although state laws do not require an attorney to probate an estate, the process can be very complex and convoluted. If handle inappropriately, the executor is subject to personal liability for mistakes, omissions or missing important deadlines, reports FreeAdvice.

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    What happens after probate is granted?

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    When probate is granted the deceased's chosen executor or the court-appointed administrator begins the process of paying off debts and distributing assets, according to FindLaw. If there is property not directly bequeathed to anyone, it is sold, and the funds become part of the estate.

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    How can you avoid probate?

    A:

    Ways to avoid probate include implementing revocable living trusts, gifting property and having joint ownership with another individual, according to Nolo.com. Another way to avoid probate is having payable-on-death accounts.

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