You can organize your estate in advance to get your own peace of mind, but these actions also help your loved ones navigate what’s expected when you pass away. Probate is often avoided through the use of advanced estate planning tools.

There are a number of different factors that can influence the amount of time it takes your estate to go through probate. Although probate has a negative reputation because it can be lengthy and expensive for your heirs, these factors will influence whether probate is handled in a streamlined manner or over the course of many months or even years.

Any complications that emerge over the process of administering probate can add to the processing time. The first of these is where the executor or the personal representative lives. The second is how many beneficiaries are associated with the estate and whether or not those beneficiaries agree or disagree about the validity of estate planning documents.

A will contest is one example of a probate dispute that can significantly delay the process of probate. These include claims such as allegations of the will not being signed with proper legal formalities, will being procured due to fraud, will being drafted as a result of undue influence by a beneficiary, or claims that the deceased did not have the appropriate mental capacity to create a will.

Other issues that can influence probate as whether or not there are debts, if the estate is taxable and the level of complication associated with the assets. If you’re curious about how to avoid probate, it’s a good idea to work directly with an estate planning lawyer in California.

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