How Long Does The Probate Process Take?
When you go through the probate process, one of your main concerns may be, understandably, to get the process done as quickly as possible. To some extent you can do that, but like other legal processes, the time frames may be out of your hands.
Additionally, like any other legal case, every case is different. That means that the time your case may take to resolve will depend on your specific circumstances, making it important to speak with your probate attorney in advance about how long your case will take to resolve.
Set Legal Deadlines
There are some deadlines that are hard and fast and set in law, and you can anticipate having to wait through these deadlines before your probate case fully resolves.
For example, once the probate case is filed, and a notice of administration is filed on all the parties, there is 90 days to challenge the will, or for creditors to make any claims on the estate. If you disagree with a creditor’s claim, you will have to challenge their claim, which can add time onto the probate process.
If you are the party seeking to challenge a will, you should visit a probate attorney immediately, as your probate attorney may need the full 90 days to fully evaluate your claim and to see if your challenge has legal merit.
If you do have a surviving spouse, and they want to elect to take their share instead of whatever you left them in your estate plan, your spouse has 6 months to elect to take their share (in some cases, that election can happen in two years, although your entire probate case doesn’t have to wait for 2 years for that to happen).
Court Action Takes Time
One factor that will affect time is what a court has to do to administer your estate. For example, if there is real property that must be sold, the court will have to approve realtors, sale prices and other details about the sale. Sales and transfers of business stock for the deceased will need to be approved by the court.
Any property not provided for in the estate documents will have to be left based on Florida’s intestate statutes, which can add time.
Even though many of these decisions are ministerial and routine, those approvals can take time, depending on the court’s schedule.
Challenges to the Estate
If your estate (your will or trust) gets challenged, the challenge is much like any other contested lawsuit.
Family will have hearings and a trial, all based on the court’s schedule and availability. If parties need experts, they will need time to evaluate the data and render an opinion. Parties may go to a mediation with all sides, to try to resolve any contested matters in the estate.
We can help you with the probate process from the very beginning. Contact the Tampa probate lawyers at Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A.for assistance.