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Avoiding probate delays with administrator-beneficiary cooperation

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

Probate can be tedious, especially when sudden issues arise during the process. When this happens, involved persons face delays, which consequently lead to a costlier and more daunting probate.

A common reason for delays in probate is when there is a misunderstanding between the estate administrator and beneficiaries. Nevertheless, this is an issue that parties can prevent as long as they cooperate.

The estate administrator’s responsibilities

Many issues between estate administrators and beneficiaries stem from the administrator’s lack of transparency and efforts to update the beneficiaries. This causes suspicions of breaches of fiduciary duty, especially if it seems like the administrator is holding back information. These doubts can trigger beneficiaries to bring the matter to court, delaying the probate process.

Even though they are preoccupied with their duties, administrators have to practice transparency and inform beneficiaries of important updates on the process, especially when they affect the beneficiaries’ rights to the estate. This helps avoid misunderstandings and keep the process running.

The beneficiaries’ rights

Probate law entitles estate beneficiaries to information related to their loved one’s estate, its assets, management and other details that affect them and their rights as recipients. If the administrator fails or refuses to provide information, the beneficiaries can request the court to order the release of said information.

Accordingly, beneficiaries must also establish trust upon the administrator if the latter is competent, performs their duties properly and shows no signs of breach. This allows the administrator to perform their responsibilities smoothly, avoiding delays in probate.

In probate, it is crucial for estate administrators and beneficiaries to keep a civil relationship stemmed from trust and transparency to eliminate risks of delays.