My mother passed away in late 2016. I know I might be getting an inheritance. When do you think I will get it? It is a large sum of money. I am afraid that my relatives who are the executors of the estate will try to cut me out of anything. Does it take quite a long time, like 6 months or a year?

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Brandywine - probate is open records so you can get a docket report to see what was filed and when and then get whatever items you find of interest. Both the will, "assets of the estate" and any "debts or claims against the estate" should be documents you can download on-line or get mailed to you for a small fee if not for free. There is a period of time required for claims to come forward so no distribution till that is past. Also if there is real property (house, car) or investments as assets, the costs to maintain go against the estate till whatever is to happen with them is determined so that can delay distribution for years. Probate has to be opened by a certain period of time but can go for years & years if allowed by your states laws.

If there is going to be a distribution, the atty or maybe the executor should mail you paperwork to be signed off on and returned to atty as the distribution ($) is reported to IRS. Also if there are a lot of folks getting distribution, the paperwork on all usually has to be in, before any $ out. If some of those listed have died, it will delay all this further.

If you really think you are going to be short changed, you will need to hire a probate atty who does litigation & asap. Most probate guys do not do litigation. Its not a DIY imo but needs experienced legal.
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Brandy, Rainmom brought up a good point, someone is going to need to do your Mom's income taxes which will be due in April unless the time limit is extended. If the estate has a lot of money, chances are taxes will need to be paid even if someone remembered to pay quarterly estimated income taxes for 2016, one estimated tax is due on January 16th.
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My mothers estate is considered easy - we only have to probate one brokerage account that does have a chunk of change in it - all the other accounts had designed beneficiaries. Our attorney has told us to expect the timeline to be six months to a year. Most of the waiting seems to be due to the courts to sign off on things. I have decided not to disperse any funds until all the taxes are finished, regardless. If a larger than expected tax bill comes up it would be too difficult to get the other beneficiaries to give money back to cover the taxes and as executor I'd likely get stuck paying it. Still - we are looking at the same timeline of six months to a year. -
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Usually a Will needs to go into County Probate, and it could take anywhere from a few months to over a year depending if there are any outstanding debts, or creditors that the Executors don't know about. The outstanding debts/creditors are first in line to obtain the money owed.

I remember my Grandparents estate took 10 years to probate because one of the relatives was suing for her share, and she kept changing attorneys, thus had to start all over again. All that time property and real estate taxes had to be paid, plus the attorney fees.
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