When trying to inherit the deceased’s estate, one may be impatient and unhappy about the time it takes for an executor to attend to the distribution. Unfortunately, such processes simply take time, and one can expect anywhere from several months to even over a year before a beneficiary receives their share of an estate. 

That being said, what really is the cause of such delay? Is it that the executor is swamped with other responsibilities that they barely have time to attend to the matter, or is it something else? Let’s find out together in this article:

1. Obtaining the Grant of Probate

One of the most significant time-consuming factors that can add to the total time of administrating an estate is obtaining the grant of probate. This is required for an executor can officially take control of the deceased one’s estate assets. It takes a long time because the application for the grant of probate cannot be made until the death certificate and the will of the deceased is finally in the hands of the executor. From there, the executor must make known that they want to apply for the grant of probate for two weeks before the actual application. Once the application is made and sent, it takes up to seven more weeks for the grant to be made.


2. Waiting Out the Risk of a Claim

The risk of a claim is a period in which claims can be made against the estate. Such a period lasts around six months from the date of death, and if there is a significant risk of such claims being made, the executor may choose to wait out that time until the period is up. Otherwise, if they were to distribute and a claim happens, they will be liable for it. Meanwhile, if the executor believes that such risks are minimal, they can decide to take action earlier.


3. Calling and Obtaining All Estate Assets

Sometimes, not all assets will be readily available right after the date of the death. Some will require calling in to be obtained, and this can take months. For example, bank accounts may take a few weeks to be released into the estate’s funds. If a death benefit is payable from a superannuation fund, even more time is required to release the amount into the estate fund. In addition, some properties or shares may also need to be sold or transferred first, and all these activities will take some amount of time.



Apart from the tasks above, there are many others that an executor must carry out, such as covering outstanding tax-related liabilities and identifying any assets and liabilities of the estate. All in all, administering to an estate takes so long because of all the tasks that need to be completed to ensure a successful distribution process. As such, if you are waiting for your executor to carry out their task, be patient. They are working hard to ensure that the deceased’s will is met and that their estate is distributed correctly to ensure you and everyone else are satisfied with the results.

Springfield Legals is a law firm that specialises in family law, conveyancing, and more in Queensland. If you are looking for wills and estate lawyers to assist you in the distribution process of the deceased’s estate, feel free to contact us today!