How Long Does Probate Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 to 12 months

Everybody knows what they should do when they are alive. Some also plan what should happen after their deaths. When a person dies, they take nothing they earned, and with them, they leave everything to either their wards, spouses, or sometimes when one doesn’t have anybody to leave their things for, they either donate their properties or sometimes the properties and everything is sold to bidders. When one thinks about all the things they should do before anything drastic happens to a person, the first thing that one should make sure they do is to form a will if they have any relations.

One should also know about probate, and how long it takes to get probate, and why it takes that long to get probate. There are things one should first get through if they think or know they are ill and unfortunately going to die soon. They can write a will so that it can be easier for the children, spouses, and anybody close to the deceased to know what has been left in their name. That is when probate comes in. Even when one applies for probate, it takes to a while to get them, and the duration can easily change when there is a will.

Normally, the average duration to get probate is around 9 to 12 months, but when one has a will, it will take only around 6 months, and without a will, it can take up to 9 months to a year. Having a will at hand certainly makes a great change. Sometimes, it can even take more than a year when there is no will.

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How Long Does Probate Take?

The average duration to get a probate9 months
With a will6 months
Without a will9 to 12 months

Probate is technically used to define the legal steps that are involved in reviewing a deceased person’s will. The reason why all these steps are involved in reviewing the will is to determine whether the will is authentic and valid and not a forged one. It can also be referred to as the process of the general administration of the dead person’s estate in line, and it can be either one or many.

It takes about 6 months to get probate, but sometimes a year, and even more. It takes longer when the estate is complicated and the entire process is split up into parts. First, a petition for the probate must be filed, and then there will be a hearing to which all the related parties will be summoned. After that, if the government finds it satisfactory to grant the probate, and to speed up the process, letters of administration must be submitted. After that, the bond must be issued.

Why Does Probate Take That Long?

A notice will be sent to the creditors and heirs of the deceased and then the inventory will be taken, all the tax filings will be checked thoroughly to know full well if they are paid. After that, the petition for the final distribution will be filed and after the final hearing, the payout will be issued.

The petition is first filed to open a probate and the executor must fill out a form, and file it in the country court, where the deceased lived. A copy of the will, a death certificate will also be required and they will be reviewed. After the review process is over, notice will be sent out to all the heirs and creditors of the dead person and this is done in various ways. Some courts put out a notice in the newspaper and some send out individual notices. Time will be given for the creditors to come forward.


The complete net worth of all the assets owned by the deceased will be examined and estimated, and this is one of the longest steps. It depends on the size of the estate and it also depends on the will, assets will be liquidated and even business might be sold.

When the deceased has a will, it makes all these steps very easy, but when it does not, the legal actions will be taken based on the law.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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