The length of the probate process varies greatly from estate to estate and also from state to state. While many states have a lengthy probate process, Pennylvania can be informal and quite reasonable.The determining factors often include the assets involved in the estate, the experience of the Executor/Administrator and counsel and the ease in dealing with the beneficiaries. Contrary to common belief, the process is rarely impacted by the actual probate court requirements which can be accomplished timely if the other factors are favorable. More often, the length of the administration is a product of the inabilitity to sell assets such as homes or a business within a reasonable time frame. Often, we find that executors or trustees also want to make distributions before they have a final clearance from the taxing authorities. While this can be done, be cautious, as such distributions can result in your personal liability.