If you leave a will behind, your estate will go through probate. This is a court-supervised process of authenticating your will.
But from locating your assets to validating your will, paying out your debts and estate taxes and distributing what is left per your will or Minnesota intestacy laws, probate can be a notably long and costly process. Fortunately, you can take certain steps to speed up the process and make the execution of your will as time and cost-effective as possible.
How long does probate last?
Well, the answer to this is, it depends. The average probate period can last anywhere from 12 months to 18 months. Even so, the complexity of the assets in the will as well as the existence of any disputes among beneficiaries will influence how long it takes to probate the estate. A will that is a subject of legal tussles may prolong the probate process, and so can uncooperative beneficiaries.
Speeding up probate
While something (like beneficiaries’ conflicts over your will) may be out of your control, there are steps you can take to speed up the process of probating your estate. Here are some of these steps:
- Reduce the size of your estate – A smaller and straightforward estate is obviously easier to probate than a complex one with assets across the state. Giving away gifts or setting up a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship can go a long way in reducing the size of your “probate-able” estate.
- Make clear your intentions – Ambiguities in your will are likely to cause problems during the probate process. Thus, ensure that your will is valid and properly executed.
The probate process is, unfortunately, designed to be slow. However, you can take certain deliberate steps to speed up the process.