Factors that can delay probate

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Probate

Probate is the legal process where the courts assess the validity of a will and oversee the administration of an estate. Typically, this process should take between six and 12 months but there can be delays. 

What are some of the main factors that can delay probate? 

Will contests 

A will can be contested on certain grounds in Minnesota. Some of the most common reasons for will contests include: 

  • The testator being pressured to draft clauses against their will
  • Evidence of forged signatures 
  • A lack of testamentary capacity on behalf of the testator 
  • Failure to follow the correct legal protocols in Minnesota

A will contest can add several months onto the probate process. In some cases, a will contest takes over a year to resolve. 

Large estates 

The length of probate can also depend largely on the number of assets in the estate and their value. Large estates can take a long time to organize. For instance, if an individual has several properties and businesses that need to be valued and distributed. Smaller estates, on the other hand, can be distributed within a few months or even more quickly than that. 

Issues with the executor 

The executor is the individual tasked with distributing the estate according to the wishes of the testator. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate. If an executor has been accused of breaching this duty, it can cause significant delays in probate. 

For example, if the executor has been accused of making poor decisions, showing favoritism or being reckless, then they may need to be replaced, which can take time. One of the best ways to ensure that probate goes smoothly is to seek legal guidance while making changes to your estate plan.