Probate is a legal process that many people wish to avoid, and they can do so by properly drafting estate plan documentation. Those who pass away without an estate plan will have their legacy and assets handled at the choice and mercy of the court. To make matters even worse, probate can drag on for months or years, depending on the estate. There are certain factors that can cause an estate to get delayed in probate, such as the following:
Estate with a long list of beneficiaries
There’s nothing wrong with having a list of people that you want to have a piece of your legacy after passing away. Keep in mind that more than a few beneficiaries may take longer to settle in court if it were to go through probate, since each beneficiary will be notified as to what’s going on legally and may dispute something they don’t agree with, further prolonging probate.
Estate with assets in different states
If assets defy state lines, then multiple probate processes may have to occur. For instance, a person may have resided in Pennsylvania but owned real estate in Florida. This means ancillary probates may be opened in both states, thus requiring more time before it’s concluded.
Estate with unique assets
Estates with assets that are not easy to value may prolong probate. Examples of unusual assets are patents, mineral or oil rights, collectibles, antiques, or racehorses. An asset that cannot be converted into cash with ease may cause an estate to stay open until the asset is sold. If the illiquid asset cannot be sold, a beneficiary of the estate may have to take ownership of it instead.