How Long Does It Take for An Estate to Be Settled?

It shouldn’t take that long. One year is a good rule of thumb. It takes time to take care of all the details, including distributing tangible property – artwork, furniture, family photos, etc. -- cleaning out the house or apartment, filing the final tax return, paying off any bills, liquidating investment accounts, and, potentially selling real estate. Where there’s no probate – everything’s in trust, in joint names or has a named beneficiary – it can be quicker. The need to sell real estate or other complications can sometimes make the process take longer.

In any case, the personal representative should be keeping you apprised of developments and be able to let you know when you can anticipate the process to be complete.

For information on what is involved in administering an estate, click here.