Once a preliminary distribution is ordered by the probate court, how long does it take for a beneficiary to receive their money?

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Once a preliminary distribution is ordered by the probate court, how long does it take for a beneficiary to receive their money?

Asked on August 30, 2010 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  Generally in California the Personal Representative is required to file a petition for final distribution or a verified report on the status of the estate within one year after Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration (the document given the personal representative to allow them to act on behalf of the estate) are issued (or 18 months if a federal estate tax return is required).  There has to be enough money for the debts and taxes, the time for the creditors to object has to pass, and the estate has to be in the proper order to be "closed."  How long it really takes depends on the size of the estate assets and debt, as well as locating the beneficiaries.  As indicated above, California wants the estate to close within a year after the Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration are issued but if a Federal Return is required then 18 months.  Good luck.


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