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As an executor how long do I have to settle the will?

I am executor for my grandmother's estate, she died last week. I am 6 months pregnant and am on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. What is the timeline for me to get everything done?
Status: Open    Jan 10, 2016 - 03:09 PM

Elder Law

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Expert Answers

Jan 12, 2016 - 01:07 PM

That depends. There may be creditor reasons not to open an estate for 6 months to bar those creditors. Typically, it is to be done within a “reasonable” amount of time, but there is no statutory time limit.

Jan 13, 2016 - 02:13 PM

Executors are bound by time which varies from state to state by statute.

Jan 20, 2016 - 07:33 AM

The timeline is flexible but not without possible problems. Most states have a time period in which you are the only person who can open the estate. In Alabama that is 40 days. After 40 days anyone, including creditors, may file to open the estate. You would then need to file the will and ask to be appointed. The probate judge can ask you why you delayed in filing and decide if your answer is reasonable. If not reasonable you may not be allowed to be administrator.

In your case a delay can most likely be justified. If there is some pressing issue with the estate that you know about or are made aware of and you do not address the situation or file to administer the estate, it would look bad for you if someone else files.

Most states have an upper limit to administering the Will. In Alabama it is 5 years. The estate can still be administered but the Will cannot be used after 5 years.

Note, waiting 6 months to open the estate does not mean creditors have no claim. The claim period does not begin to run until the estate is opened and notice is published.

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