by Attorney Ashley Securda
Generally, start to finish, I advise my clients that the estate administration process takes about a year to complete. This is for several reasons.
First, it takes a couple of weeks for the Executor/Executrix to gather all of the assets and value them. Once we receive this information, we can prepare and file the Inheritance Tax Return. Second, the Department of Revenue must review the Inheritance Tax Return. On average, it takes approximately six (6) months for Inheritance Tax Returns to be reviewed and to receive notification from the Department of Revenue. Third, creditors have one (1) year from the date the estate is advertised to file a claim against the estate. All estates must be advertised three times in two different places in accordance with the current laws.
Generally, estates remain open and distributions are not made from the estate (i.e. payments to beneficiaries or heirs) until one year has passed from the date of advertisement. This protects the heirs and/or beneficiaries from personal liability. If all of the assets in the estate are distributed too early and then a creditor files a claim against the estate after all of the assets have been distributed/liquidated/passed on to the heir, that heir may have to pay the creditor personally.
The estate administration process has many specific steps that must be taken which is determined on a case-by-case analysis. The attorneys at Williamson, Friedberg, and Jones can handle the estate of your loved one from start to finish and take most of the work off your hands. Contact one of our attorneys to discuss the estate administration process today. (570) 622-5933