If a loved one passed away and you’re in line for an inheritance, it’s natural to wonder when you’ll get it. In fact, that’s one of the most common questions people have in this situation. You know that money is coming your way, but should you expect it in a few days or a few months?

The thing to remember is that giving you your money is probably the very last thing that will be done by the person tasked with administering the estate. The order of operations looks like this:

  1. Taking inventory of everything that the person owned and matching it up with the will.
  2. Determining everyone’s legal roles in this process.
  3. Figuring out the value of all of the assets; for instance, if a home is one of the major assets, an appraisal may be needed to set the current market value.
  4. Paying off bills and other expenses that are connected to the estate.
  5. Paying off taxes and/or filing tax returns for the person’s estate. They may still owe a significant amount for the portion of the year that has passed.
  6. Splitting up the money that is left between the people named in the will.

For instance, you may have a sibling who is supposed to split $100,000 in cash with you, but that doesn’t mean you automatically get $50,000. You may have to pay thousands in taxes and bills before figuring out exactly what you’re entitled to.

This can be a long process, and it can get fairly complex. It is important to understand your rights, especially if you think you are not getting what you deserve.