The Probate process can take as short as 30 days to complete (if you have a Will) and as long as several years, depending on the complexity of the estate. There are rules about when and where the probate process must occur. For example:
- If there is a Will, it must be submitted for probate within four years from the date of death for all property to pass under the terms of the Will.
- The estate must be filed in the county where your loved one lived or where his or her principal estate was located.
Believe it or not, it was ultimately up to your loved one whether or not his or her estate will go through probate. Your loved one may have planned for it, or simply thought he or she would live forever and had plenty of time to tackle estate planning.
There are a number of documents that are needed to settle your loved one’s estate. Use our Probate Checklist to see what documents to you'll need.