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How long does the probate process take?

One of the main reasons that estate planning experts in Miami recommend that you and your loved ones start addressing end-of-life issues when you are young is to avoid having your estate go to probate. Yet despite these expert recommendations, a good number of estate cases still end going through the state’s probate courts every year. According to information shared by the Florida Office of the State Courts Commissioner, 115,746 cases were filed in the state in 2014-15 fiscal year.

So exactly how long can the probate process take? There may be no easy answer to that question due to the uniqueness of each estate. If, for example, your family member stipulated that you and other beneficiaries were to each receive a certain monetary reward from the estate, yet those funds were planned to come from the sale of property, then you and the other parties must wait until those properties are sold for the estate to be processed and dispersed.

Another example of an obstacle to moving an estate through probate may be unsettled debts. If your loved one died owing a large amount of liability debts, then any claims made against the estate must first be settled. Only after creditors have been satisfied can the case then move through probate.

While the unique circumstances of the estate that you are an interested party may affect its processing time, most familiar with the probate process agree that an uncomplicated case will still take at least three months to complete. However, few estates present any issues at all. Therefore, if you are interested in the outcome of a probate case, it is often recommend to plan for at least six months for the entire process to be resolved. 

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