When someone dies in Indiana, their estate could go through probate court, where the debts are finalized and assets distributed according to their wishes. Unfortunately, this process often takes so long that frustrated family members just want to get it over with. Here are four reasons why probate drags on.
The estate’s executor, who is the person responsible for handling the deceased’s affairs, must collect all the necessary documents and file them with the court. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if the deceased did not have their affairs in order. Furthermore, the executor must find all the beneficiaries the deceased named on their will. If someone is hard to find, finalizing the process will take a while.
Disputes that often arise
If there is any disagreement among family members about how the estate should be distributed, delays will occur. The law gives people a grace period of up to three months to determine the will’s validity. Only after everything is settled does the distribution of property begin. Additionally, probate courts are often backlogged, so it can take months for a case to be heard even if there is no dispute.
Dealing with creditors
If the deceased had any outstanding debts, the executor must contact creditors and get them paid. This process can be complicated and time-consuming, especially if multiple creditors are involved.
The executor must file a tax return for the estate, which can be complex. Often, the executor must meet tax deadlines, and if they miss any of them, it can cause delays.
These are just some of the reasons why probate takes too long. If you are dealing with a probate case, be patient and stay informed. The process can be frustrating, but eventually, it will come to an end.