There’s really no telling how long the probate process can take. It’s not uncommon for an estate to be open for a year or more, but an executor who has proper counsel and guidance in their duty can often complete their job in less time. Pennsylvania’s probate process is fairly efficient, but simply fulfilling all required duties and filing the mandatory paperwork can take some time, which means distributing the assets to heirs can take months. As a good rule of thumb: the more complex an estate, the longer it will take to fully close.
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Do I need a will?A:
If you don’t own anything or everything you own is jointly held by you and your spouse (i.e. a shared bank account and family home), then odds are your estate won’t need to go through the probate process because everything will transfer to your spouse automatically. However, this is a rare condition, and odds are you’ll probably want a little more flexibility with your final wishes. When this is the case, you absolutely should have a will as a part of your estate plan.
How do I change my estate plan?A:
It’s important to have an estate plan, even from an early adulthood age. This means it’s not uncommon for your wishes to change as your life progresses, so naturally you’ll need to change your estate plan along with them. Minor changes to your plan can be done with a document known as a “codicil,” however too many changes can lead to a complex and convoluted plan, at which point you should consider revoking your plan and creating an entirely new one from scratch.
How long does probate take?A: