If you are the beneficiary of an estate and a family member has recently passed away, you may be curious as to how long it will take to receive your inheritance. Unfortunately for beneficiaries, there is rarely a clear answer to this question, and there are many things that need to occur before you receive your portion of the estate. Some of these are discussed below – for more specific information, you should call our office today to speak with a New Jersey estate planning lawyer.
- Initiating Probate – Many estates are required to go through a process known as probate, which is the legal process through which an estate is administered. If there is a will, it must be submitted to a probate court that will then determine its validity. The probate court retains jurisdiction over the administration of the estate until all issues have been settled.
- Inventory of the Estate’s Assets and Debts – After a person passes away, the person who is named or appointed the estate’s personal representative must account for all of the estate’s assets and debts, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate holdings, tax debts, credit card debts, mortgage loans, medical bills, and others, which can take time.
- The Payment of Final Bills and Expenses – Prior to any assets being distributed, the personal representative must pay any liabilities that the estate may have. In some cases, these may be significant.
- The Resolution of any Disputes – An estate generally may not distribute assets to beneficiaries while there are pending disputes. Common disputes that arise during estate administration include challenging the terms of a will, arguing that the personal representative is not adequately doing his or her job, or that the will itself is not valid or genuine.
Each estate is different, so it is impossible to say with any certainty how long it will take for you to get your inheritance without a careful analysis of all the facts. Generally speaking, the larger and more complicated an estate, the longer it will take. In cases of a simple estate, it may take a matter of weeks, while in others, your inheritance may be tied up for years.
Call a New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
The probate process can be complicated and tie up an estate’s assets for years. If you are a beneficiary of an estate and are concerned about receiving your inheritance or have any other legal needs related to estate planning, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation with New Jersey attorney, call the Law Office of Edward V. Murachanian today at 732-477-3030 or send us an email through our online contact form.