Why Does Probate Take So Long?”

Joel A. Schoenmeyer has part of the answer in this recent post about some of the various notices that must be sent to individuals interested in an estate when its opened (his citations are to Illinois law).

One of the most common mistakes an attorney can make in probate is to fail to give notice once an estate has been opened. […] But two types of additional notice typically need to be given to people with an interest in the estate:

    1. If the decedent died with a Will which is then admitted to probate, the decedent’s heirs and legatees have to receive notice of the Will’s admission to probate and their right to contest admission. They also have to get a copy of the Petition that was filed in the case, and a copy of the order admitting the Will to probate. A similar notice has to be given if the Will is denied admission to probate. See §6-10 of the Illinois Probate Act and Illinois Supreme Court Rule 108.
    2. If, like most Illinois estates, the estate is under independent (as opposed to supervised) administration, notice has to be given to heirs and legatees. This notice contains an explanation of rights in independent administration, and a petition to terminate independent administration. The form of the notice can be found in Illinois Supreme Court Rule 110.

There are other reasons probate takes time but in estates where there are a lot of people named in the will or a lot of family members the sending of these notices can really stretch things out.