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Beneficiaries can contribute to probate delays

Though most Texas residents feel a great deal of grief after the death of a loved one, they often also want to receive any inheritances they are entitled to as quickly as possible. Of course, most estates need to go through probate, and it is not unusual for the process to take a considerable amount of time. Certain factors can also contribute to the process taking even longer.

Beneficiaries are a major part of closing an estate, but they can also contribute to delays. If the estate has more than three beneficiaries, the process can take longer because each beneficiary must receive notification of probate and the actions being taken. In many cases, the beneficiaries need to sign certain documents and return them to the executor, which can also cause delays if there are several beneficiaries or if some take their time sending documents back.

It can also take more time to probate an estate that has assets in multiple states. Some people may have lived in one state but held real estate in another or had oil or other rights in another state. This issue could result in ancillary probate, or probates in those other states needing to be opened.

Certainly, many Texas residents want to receive a reminder of their loved one or a financial windfall as soon as possible. Still, the law must be followed when it comes to closing an estate. Because mistakes can also drag out the probate process, it is wise for estate executors to enlist the help of attorneys who understand the laws associated with the process.

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