The duration of the probate process varies with the size and complexity of the estate, as well as the difficulty in locating all the beneficiaries. If there is a Will and it is contested, or anyone objects to any actions you take as the Personal Representative, things can really drag out. You should know that the average probate in California from the date the petition for opening the probate is filed by your attorney to the date that the court orders final distribution of the assets takes anywhere from nine months or longer.

I’m certain you are wondering WHY SO LONG?

And the answer is that in most California counties, it takes six to eight weeks from the filing the petition for an estate personal representative to be appointed. And then once appointed, the executor or administrator has to give notice to all the creditors and those creditors have four months to file a claim. After that the real property needs to be prepared, marketed and sold plus the personal property needs to be addressed. Experience shows this can take another three to four months including the Notice of Proposed Action.

The good news is…handling the real property and the notice to the creditors can be occurring simultaneously.

And finally after the property is sold, a petition for distribution at the end of the probate also requires six to eight weeks before an actual order of distribution is signed by the court.

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