(727) 367-1976

In Florida there are a lot of factors that goes into how long it takes to probate an estate, but it’s probably one of my most frequently asked questions I get.

First Steps

At minimum, it takes about 1-2 weeks after someone passes away to get a death certificate. Depending on how quickly the beneficiaries and/or nominated personal representative (what other states call the executor) act, the paperwork can be completed a few days after the death certificate is received.

From there it usually takes a few weeks for the file to get to the top of the judge’s queue to review and if everything is correct, the Judge will enter the Letters of Administration and the personal represented will be appointed.

Next Up

From there, I publish in the newspaper what’s called the “Notice to Creditors.” The Notice to Creditors needs to run for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper and from there creditors have 90 days to file a claim. There is more work that needs to be done during this time period, but when the creditor’s period is over, the next biggest responsibility is to make sure the taxes have been complete. Depending on the time of year someone passes away (and if the deceased was current on filing their tax returns), may depend on how long this process takes. If someone passes in December and was current on filing all of their taxes (and if an estate tax return is not needed), the probate process may be able to be concluded shortly after the 90 day creditor’s period is over. However, if someone passes away in April or May and needs to file tax returns, we will likely have to wait to until the beginning of the following year until the 1099’s and other tax documents are received.

Final Steps

Once all the taxes are resolved, we can distribute the estate and close out the probate. There are of course other details and hundreds of other factors that can delay or speed up the probate process.

It’s important to work with an experienced probate attorney who can hold your hand through this process and give you a better idea of the timeline given the circumstances.

We can help guide you through the process