So how long will it take in Florida to probate? This is not an easy question to answer probably exactly, but in most instances, a few guidelines can be given.

In each case and for each district in the state, the Florida probate timeline varies but there are certain general timelines that it is necessary to educate yourself with.

A group of people looking at florida's probate timeline and discussing it

How long does probate take in Florida?

If you ask someone who’s been through the probate process and they’re going to tell you it’s a long process that requires effort at best.

Many of the milestones are based on specific factors in your probate case.

That said, there are certain deadlines and timeframe you should be mindful of that will ensure the probate case continues to progress through probate courts. Due to such nature of the probate process, a fixed time cannot be stated.

However, the following is the average time of the probate process in Florida:

  •   Up to three months for simple estates
  •   Up to one year for standard formal administrations
  •   Two or more years for complex and litigated estates

The Process

We will break up into the process to identify how much time the main stages take during the process.

1. Filing for probate – 10-day deadline

The very first probate deadline you need to be mindful of in the Florida probate timeline is the 10-day deadline.

This specifies that the individual in possession of the deceased’s last will and testament must file for probate within 10 days from the date of death of the deceased in the same county where the deceased died.

The size of the estate to be probated does not affect these ten days.

2. Granting Letters of Administration

For a representative of the estate to fulfill his duties against the deceased, the probate court will formally recognize them as the executor of the estate.

This is done by issuing the letters of Administration. It will take the probate court between one to four weeks to send administrative letters to the estate’s executor.

3. Notifying the Creditors

Once the probate process has begun, the next stage in the Florida probate timeline is for the estate executor to publish a notice to creditors. While there is no clear timeframe for this, the law specifies to do it promptly.

Notices are usually published for 2 weeks.

To avoid delays in the timeline, creditors have 90 days from the date of notice to file their claims.

4. Proving death

Estates executor must provide evidence of the estate holder ‘s death to creditors within 3 months of the issuance of the notice if the probate process is carried out by formal administration or ancillary proceedings.

5. Verified Statement

After notice to creditors, a verified statement is to be submitted before the court within 4 months which states that all creditors who may have a claim against the Estate have been diligently checked for them.

6. The validity of the Will

The probate court has to determine the validity of the will if the deceased left it.

The time it takes to assess the validity of a Will can differ in every situation.

7. Objections

After the estate’s executor has taken the estate into account, they have to file their findings with the court.

All interested parties may dispute this Accounting Notice. Such interested parties then have 30 days to challenge the given accounting.

If the estate’s accounting is contested, the probate process can take a much longer period to come to an end.

8. Receipts

When the estate’s assets have been used to settle creditor claims and unpaid taxes, the estate’s executor then helps with the distribution of the estate’s assets.

Once this distribution has occurred the executor must then provide distribution receipts to the court.

This filing must be completed within one year of the letters of administration being issued.

9. Closing the Estate

After all of this is completed, the last step is for the estate executor to apply for the estate’s closure.

This signifies the closure of the probate process once it has been granted.

Important Timelines and Deadlines

Some important times and deadlines to remember if you are based in Florida:

  •  File Original Will – 10 days from the knowledge of death
  •  Object to the validity of a will, the qualifications of a personal representative, or jurisdiction – 20 days, 3 months, or 4 years
  •  Creditor claim – 30 days, 3 months, or 2 years

Please note that not everyone is familiar with the legal terms, timelines, and the complex laws of the probate process in Florida. Hiring a probate attorney to understand the timeline and process is strongly recommended. If you are going through the probate process in Florida and have concerns about your case’s timeline or just need legal support to get through the probate process, The Finity Law Firm will help you in handling your case.

References

  1. Consumer Pamphlet: Probate in Florida | The Florida Bar
  2. Deadlines and Timelines in Florida Probate | Probate Stars

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