Frequently Asked Questions > Steps to Take When Someone Dies > How long does it take to settle an estate?

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It can take as little as two weeks to have a will admitted to probate.  After that it is a matter of collecting the assets, paying the debts and distributing the remainder to the beneficiaries named in the will.  A final tax return will need to be filed when due and any taxes paid.  Generally, if no estate taxes are due, most of what needs to be done can be completed within about 3 to 6 months, depending once again on the complexity of the assets.  This does not mean that no one may have access to any funds until all is completed. 

Last updated on January 6, 2011 by Glenn Karisch