When a person dies, their estate goes to probate. The length of time that this process takes varies by state. It can take anywhere from several months or years depending on the court’s caseload and the complexity of the case. Other factors may slow down the adjudication of a probate matter and the distribution of assets though as well.
It’s likely to take more time to probate a Florida case the more heirs there are to the estate. The reason that this is the case is because each heir has to be notified to sign certain documents. It can delay the probate process if they live far apart.
If a decedent owned property or other assets in more than one state, then this may delay how long the probate process takes as the executor may have to open up a case in each jurisdiction.
Any instance in which the Miami executor has to file an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 706, or a federal estate tax return, may result in additional delays. If the personal representative has to file a state-level estate tax return or pay an inheritance tax, then this can also cause more delays.
Estates that are composed of unusual assets such as patents, mineral rights or rare collections may have to be subjected to further scrutiny before any assets can be disbursed from them. If assets belonging to the estate aren’t easily liquidated, then the executor may have to delay distributing property until once they’re sold or the heirs might have to take ownership of them as they are.
If heirs contest a will or the executor of the estate mishandles things, then these factors can also cause delays. A case may be indefinitely left open until all of a testator’s debts are paid and all legal battles are resolved.
The probate process begins the moment in which an executor locates and files a decedent’s will with the probate court. The administration of their estate is often a long, complicated process. It’s common for heirs to have many questions during this process. An experienced attorney here in Miami can provide the answers to help you better understand what is happening so that it proceeds more swiftly.