When a Maryland resident passes away and has left a will with instructions indicating how remaining assets should be distributed, a legal process needs to take place to properly settle the estate. That process is known as probate, and it begins when the executor takes the will to the court for validation. The amount of time it takes to get through the process varies depending on the estate itself and the dynamic of those involved, but it can often be a long procedure to go through.
It is not unheard of for certain estates to be settled quickly. If the will leaves clear instructions, there are not numerous beneficiaries to track down, the estate is not massive and no family squabbles break out, the proceedings could be relatively straightforward and finished sooner than expected. Of course, there are circumstances that could cause delays.
Some of the common issues that could cause setbacks while working to close an estate include:
- Having trouble tracking down beneficiaries
- Someone challenging the validity of the will
- Not understanding the process
- The executor not performing his or her duties properly
Though many people dread the idea of seeing an estate through probate, it does not have to be the awful experience many people anticipate. If the right information is gained about the executor’s responsibilities and duties and if the executor carries out those duties appropriately, the process can be expected to go smoothly. In the event that difficulties do arise, a Maryland executor could seek legal assistance to address the matter.