39. How long does the probate process take?

California law requires the personal representative to complete the probate process within 12 to 18 months. If they aren’t able to do so for some reason, then the personal representative must file a status report explaining what still needs to be done and how long it is expected to take. There are other reasons the process might drag out, for example, if there is a contest about the validity of a will, if it is difficult to locate beneficiaries, or if the size and complexity of the estate requires additional time.

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