How long does the administrator have to settle affairs after a will is submitted to a probate?
You've stumped me because most probates last very long. Most are wrapped up within 9 months before a federal estate tax is due. The only reasons for the estate to continue longer is litigation, deferred payment of estate tax (but the estate tax return would have been filed and most matters wrapped up) and a few other unusual circumstances. The key question you may have to ask is why is the estate continuing so long. At some point the Surrogate/Probate court may question why you are getting new letters testamentary. Those are the official documents which give the executor (personal administrator) the right to handle the estate. In most places (perhaps all) they are dated - they only last for a period of time before new ones have to be obtained (they go "stale"). You could probably call the Surrogate or Probate office in your county (it might go by a different name) and ask them how long. The lawyer helping you handle the estate should be able to look up the probate statute for your state to see if there is a statutory requirement (however, it may be a court procedureal matter, not a statute).
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