How long does it take to probate an estate?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Probate Litigation

A loved one’s death can set the ball rolling for a lot of things. Amidst planning their funeral and other paperwork, you must also figure out what will happen to their estate. And this is where probate comes in. 

Probate is the process of gathering the decedent’s assets, identifying their dependents, paying off their debts and applicable estate taxes and distributing what is left per their will or Ohio intestacy laws if they died without a will. Of course, this can be a long and tedious process. But exactly how long does it take to probate an estate?

Factors affecting the probate process

The time it takes to probate an estate depends on several factors. Here are some of them:

The complexity of the decedent’s estate

Estate size is a crucial factor during probate. A relatively small estate with one or two heirs (who are getting along with each other) is generally easy to probate. Depending on the court’s schedule, such an estate can take a couple of weeks to probate. 

A large and complex estate, on the other hand, is a different story, especially if some of the assets are across the state. Such an estate can take several years to probate. 

The presence of the will

If the decedent dies intestate, it might take time before the court appoints an administrator for their estate. Additionally, potential heirs might disagree on what everyone ought to get. This, coupled with the lack of a clear will not only prolongs probate but can also rack up the cost of probating the decedent’s estate. 

The presence of a valid will, however, can clear up any confusion and make the process faster and smoother. 

The probate process can be extremely overwhelming, especially when you are still in grief. Understanding the legal requirements can ensure that you stay on track while probating a loved one’s estate. 



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