When a person dies, their estate generally goes through probate. If the estate is large, the probate process can take months or even years. You might wonder what would keep estates in probate for so long and how to get through the lengthy process.
Reasons Estates Linger in Probate
Each estate has different circumstances that must be dealt with when going through the probate process. Attorney John Branca works through an array of circumstances for his high-profile clients. In one client’s estate that has been held up in probate, John Branca dealt with the following issues that can prolong the probate process:
- The Uniqueness of the Estate. An estate that has collectibles, unique real estate, or business patents will take longer to value and liquidate.
- Lawsuits. If lawsuits have been filed against the deceased or the estate, beneficiaries will not receive their inheritance until all suits have been dismissed or settled. John Branca has patiently fought lawsuits on his famous client’s estate for 12 years.
- Estate Taxes. Not every state in the United States requires federal estate taxes, but if the estate of the deceased is in one of the states that do, it could take a year for the IRS to file the tax return.
Patience and continually working to fight the lawsuits on his client’s estate have paid off for John Branca. As the suits have been dismissed, the heirs to the estate will soon be able to obtain their inheritance. In this case, they will have waited 13 years by the time the IRS finishes its process.
Obtaining Inheritance Held Up in Probate
If you are an heir to an estate being held up in probate and do not have the financial ability to patiently wait for your inheritance, check into getting an advance on your inheritance. In this case, your portion of the inheritance will be assessed, and a certain percentage will be advanced to you. When the estate is finally closed in probate, the portion that was advanced will be paid back to the funding company. Whatever amount remaining that is due to you will get paid out at that time.
The more valuable and complicated an estate is, the more an attorney is needed to protect its assets. Some circumstances can make the probate process take much longer, and maintaining patience may be your only option as the attorney works on the estate’s behalf.