Houser Firm

Potential pitfalls and challenges to watch out for during probate

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Probate Administration

Probate, the legal process of settling a deceased person’s estate, does not always go smoothly. While it serves a crucial purpose in distributing assets and fulfilling the wishes of the deceased, it is not without its potential pitfalls and challenges. 

Understanding these stumbling blocks can help you better prepare and mitigate potential risks during the probate process. Below are some of the things that could go wrong.

Family disputes

The distribution of assets and the interpretation of the deceased’s intentions can sometimes lead to disagreements among beneficiaries. Emotions run high during this sensitive time, and conflicts can quickly escalate. Family feuds can derail the probate process and tear loved ones apart.

Complex or contested estates 

Estate plans that involve intricate asset structures, business interests or overseas properties can add layers of complexity to the probate proceedings. Furthermore, if there are disputes over the validity of the will, the process can become even more complicated. 


Timing can also be a challenge in the probate process. Probate can be time-consuming, with various tasks and legal requirements to fulfill. Delays can occur due to administrative bottlenecks, disputes or the need to locate and value assets. Additionally tax issues or creditor claims can further prolong the process.

Executor misconduct

Executor misconduct refers to inappropriate or negligent behavior by the person administering the estate during the probate proceedings. This can include mismanagement of assets, failure to fulfill fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest or dishonesty. Executor misconduct can disrupt the probate process and harm  the beneficiaries’ interests.

As a will beneficiary, it’s best to take a proactive stance during the probate process in anticipation of these an