When Will You Get Your Inheritance After Losing A Loved One?
If you recently lost a loved one and know or believe you are one of the beneficiaries in their Will, you may be asking yourself when you will get your inheritance. You are most likely asking yourself this because you are looking forward to inheriting something that will always remind you of your loved one.
So, when will you get your inheritance? Unfortunately, if you are hoping that the executor of your loved one’s estate will begin by distributing assets between beneficiaries, you are wrong. Handing out inheritances is the last thing the personal representative of your loved one’s estate will do. As it pertains to when you can expect to receive your inheritance, it generally depends on how long the other steps of the probate process will take. Depending on several things, you could receive your inheritance in as little as a few months or after one or more years.
Understanding the Probate Process
Usually, the probate process starts with someone involved with the estate filing a petition to open probate. After a petition is filed and approved, the court appoints someone to act as a personal representative. If a Will does not name an executor, the court appoints someone to act as a personal representative. But, if an executor is named in the Will, the court will usually appoint the named person to act as a personal representative. After a personal representative has been appointed, they will locate the decedent’s assets, appraise them, and sell those they need to sell. Then the personal representative will pay off debts and taxes. After paying debts and taxes, a personal representative can begin distributing what is left to beneficiaries.
Sounds quite straightforward, right? Unfortunately, there are times when things are not as easy as you might be thinking. Sometimes, delays arise that slow down the probate process. For example, if you or another beneficiary contest your loved one’s Will, you might prevent the process from moving forward. Also, a delay in the probate process could arise if the personal representative disputes a creditor claim. For example, the personal representative could say that a claim is not valid or was already paid. In any of these situations, the probate court would need to deal with the issue before the process can move forward. Unfortunately, delays can add months to the timeline of the probate process. Delays can result in you having to wait months or even a year or more to get your inheritance.
When a Decedent’s Assets Are Held in More Than One State
If your deceased loved one left assets in California and another state, it might take longer for you to get your inherited assets. When a decedent has assets in another state, an entirely new probate proceeding is required. This probate is known as an “ancillary probate.” This type of situation presents a unique challenge for the personal representative and can lead to you waiting longer to get your inheritance.
Contact The Probate Guy for Help
If you have more questions on inheritance, feel free to call the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – to schedule a telephonic consultation.