Probate Concerns You Should Know
Probate concerns are common among many people who do not have a clear understanding of how it works. We understand how you will understand the basics of how probate works. However, there’s an area where people do not have a clear knowledge of the length of time you will have to handle probate.
In this article, we hope to clear some of those doubts about a probate’s length of time. It’s not a very complicated process if you have everything in order. However, there will be very special cases where probate may take a very long time to resolve.
Meaning of Probate
A probate is a legal process to carry out the remaining wishes of a dead person’s will. Usually the dead person may have a trustee appointed to carry out the will’s last wishes. However, for proper and better consolidation, it’s best to get a lawyer on board to help with it. Hence, that is why probate is needed in most (if not all) cases in Malaysia.
Time Frame of a Probate
There isn’t exactly a set time frame for probate applications. However, there are aspects of the probate where the process has time scales.
Inheritance taxes are an important part of getting a probate in the first place. It must be done in 6 months after the person’s official death date. The inheritance tax is important and has to be completed before probate courts can issue a grant of probate.
Probates can take anywhere between 4 to 8 months to complete. You will see how probate takes ½ the time in a case when there’s no inheritance tax payable. There will be times when you can see how some probates can take up to 2 years or more for a probate to be resolved. Some cases take up to more than 2 decades even.
The probate timescale depends on factors that impact it. Usually the factors that impacts your probate are:
- The kind of assets and properties under your name
- The size of your assets
- Having multiple parties and people involved
- When a will is not in place
- When a property is involved
- When someone contests your will
There are many reasons why probate takes a long time to solve. It’s something that you will need to deal with if there are a lot of complexities surrounding it.
Why Does Probate Take So Long?
We have given a few reasons why probate may take quite a long time. Here is a slightly more elaborate reason why it is the way it is.
1. Estate complexity
A probate is usually a legal process to allow the executor to access the dead person’s funds and bank accounts. If the deceased only has 1 account and very little to no assets and properties, then the process is simplified by a lot. That means the dead person will have very short probate and can be resolved in less than 1 year.
However, the most complicated part is when transferring the money from the dead person’s account into the beneficiaries’ accounts. Most times, the people dealing with the estate may have to open a new account just to collect the estate before distributing it.
If the dead person has multiple accounts with very huge amounts of money in it, that’s when it gets very complicated. The amount of time to collect the money can take several months, sometimes even years.
If the estate has multiple properties, they may have to be sold to cover any outstanding debts. Only then can any remaining money be given to the beneficiaries or next-of-kin.
2. Legal issues
Sometimes, due to the general complexities of an estate, the solicitor may hold on to the estate for an extended period of time.
For example, the deceased may still owe debts while they are still alive. No one can escape debts. That means whatever estate the deceased has left behind will be sold to cover those debts. If there is money left, then it will be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Or the deceased may have been a recipient of any pensions. That means the pension office in Malaysia will have to work with the probate lawyer to investigate the deceased. There is no fix time frame to this. Investigations can be anywhere from a few months to several years.
3. Inheritance-related issues
The only reason why inheritance can take many years is that it takes many years for the Malaysian home office to check the values of the dead person’s accounts and properties. If it isn’t a lot, then within a year it can be resolved. However, if there is a lot of money and properties, then yes it will take many years.
There is also the matter of inheritance claims. Think about a scenario where the deceased may have left behind an unnamed child that he or she is unaware of. They may not be aware of the extra-biological child’s existence until the day the will is challenged.
There are many reasons why probate may take a long time in Malaysia. Most times the reason why it takes such a long time for properties and money to be released to the beneficiaries is due to challenges surrounding it. The property and money will not be released to the beneficiaries until the challenges have been resolved.
If you need any help on getting the grant of probate, be sure to look for a probate lawyer in Malaysia like Sim & Rahman to get the job done.