Estates commonly go through probate after a person's passing. Before your loved one's death, he or she may have discussed the idea of you acting as executor of the estate. You may at first have felt honored that your family member trusted you to take on such a role, but you likely also understood that it came with a great deal of responsibility. Still, you decided to accept the position.
Now that your loved one has passed, you have started the probate process. While you may hope that the process will go smoothly, various aspects of the estate could hold up the proceedings. You could even face issues that lead to litigation, which can cause considerable delays to the process.
What will hold up probate?
You may have reason to watch out for several concerns regarding your loved one's estate. Some of those factors include the following:
- Unusual assets: If your loved one was a collector of rare or immensely valuable items, the probate process may take some time. Valuations may be needed for those assets, and they may not prove as easily liquidated as needed.
- Several beneficiaries: Your family member may have had many loved ones to whom he or she wanted to leave assets. While this may have seemed generous, it also means that you will have to take the time to contact each beneficiary and send and receive necessary documents, which means waiting on beneficiaries to return the documents.
- Combative beneficiaries: Conflict often causes delays in probate. If the beneficiaries associated with your loved one's estate do not get along, they may challenge bequests or simply delay the process on purpose in order to spite other beneficiaries.
When you have to deal with individuals who do not get along or if you face other similar issues, you may have to seek permission from the court before you can take certain steps. This action often takes a considerable amount of time, and if you have to do it multiple times, probate can go on for a while.
Dealing with issues
These problems may have you somewhat intimidated by the probate process. Many executors feel this way as there is a great deal of responsibility that comes along with closing an estate. Fortunately, you do not have to complete the process and deal with conflicts on your own. A California attorney could help you understand your role and options for dealing with any problems that come your way.