How Long Does An Executor’s Job Take?

Being an executor of an estate can prove to be a particularly time-consuming responsibility. While a standard simple estate may only take a few months to probate, larger complicated ones with problems can last for years. If you are agreeing to the role of executor, you must fully understand how long your job can take depending on the circumstance of the estate.

An executor is an individual responsible for managing a deceased person’s estate. While the time and effort involved depends on the size of the estate, regardless there are certain aspects every executor handles.

Duration of Executor’s Job

Firstly, an executor should consult an attorney to understand the deadlines in the state the descendent lived in. To begin the probate process, the executor must file the will for probate, in which there are potential time limits varying by state. You may have strict deadlines on how long after the descendent died you must file a will and when you must prepare a list of their assets, both to be filed with the court. Be sure to maintain awareness of your required timeframe.

There are factors that can delay or speed up the probate. Below are four different potential issues.

1. Debts

The executor must notify potential creditors about the death by letter and publish a notice in a local paper for unknown creditors. Creditors have a certain amount of time to file claims against the estate. The executor must wait for this deadline to pass and then settle the debts prior to distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. 

2. Location

The location of the executor and beneficiaries can influence the amount of time it will take. If you live in different states from one another, sending documents back and forth could be more time-consuming, thus increasing the amount of time it would take to go through probate.

3. Assets

The more complicated the assets, the more work for the executor. If the descendent has multiple bank accounts, stocks, brokerage accounts, valuables, and/or a family business, it will take longer to settle the estate.

4. Contested Estate

If the beneficiaries are fighting with each other or the executor, it will prolong the process. Examples of this include contesting the will or challenging the actions of the executor. As an executor, you must be prepared for the sensitive emotional nature when dealing with money.

To fully understand your job as an executor, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2394.