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In New Jersey How Long Does It Take to Get an Inheritance?

Posted on Wed Aug 17, 2016, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: How Long Does It Take to Get An Inheritance in New Jersey?

Most Recently Updated August 8, 2018.

How Long Does It Take to Get An Inheritance in New Jersey

Probate Attorney, Kelly Barse.

“My Uncle died four months ago in Burlington County, New Jersey. I am in the Will.  How long does it take to get an Inheritance?”

How Long Does It Take to Get An Inheritance in New Jersey? It Depends.

The time it takes to get an inheritance can vary widely between estates in New Jersey.  Many factors that can impact a Personal Representative.  But, the Personal Representative should be communicating with you about the estate’s expected timeline.  You are asking me this question because the Personal Representative is not adequately describing his or her plan of action.  An Executor or Personal Representative should communicate to you an estimate of when you are receiving your inheritance.

That being said, the answer to your question, “How long does it take to get an inheritance,” will depend on several things.  Some are within the executor’s power, and some are not.

For example, you can only inherit something from your Uncle’s estate if his assets are greater than his debts.  One of the executor’s jobs is to satisfy creditors.  Satisfying creditors takes time, and creditors have several months to make a claim.  If the personal representative distributes to you your inheritance before satisfying the creditors, the executor could be liable. The creditors could claim against him.  So, you can see where the personal representative will want to have time to discover all creditors before paying you.  The IRS is a creditor who never goes away.  Furthermore, the executor is responsible for filing and paying your Uncle’s last tax return.  The executor may also wish to hold the estate funds until the IRS accepts the final income tax return.

See my website for more information about the Probate Process.

How Long Does It Take to Get An Inheritance?  In Part, it Depends on the Estate’s Creditors.

Other factors can cause delays, such as preparing real estate for sale, problems with valuing assets and, the sale of a business.  If your Uncle had a business, the executor might need time to collect accounts receivable and to either sell or shut down the business.

Though many possible reasons can delay your inheritance, the problem is the Executor’s failure to communicate with you.  As a beneficiary, you are always free to hire a Probate Attorney to represent your interests.  An experienced Probate Attorney can communicate with the Personal Representative and help explain to you your rights.  If the Executor fails to give satisfactory responses, we can Petition the courts and obtain the information.

See my website for more details about a Petition for Formal Accounting.

More Probate Questions?

The inheritance time line is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Get An Inheritance in New Jersey

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how long does it take to get an inheritance in New Jersey. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!


Burlington County, Estate Administration, Executor, Formal Accounting, Inheritance, Kelly Barse, New Jersey, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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