The average probate in Florida takes six to nine months for a large estate. Under certain circumstances, it could take longer. Small estates that are under $75,000 and don’t owe debts could be wrapped up in as fast as one month.
More than one will
A mistake that some people make is not revoking a previous will before writing a new will. If there is more than one will, then the court must determine which one is real. Probate could take one year longer or more in this situation. When you’re estate planning, make sure that you follow the correct procedures to revise your documents to reduce problems with probate after your death.
If the decedent chooses an irresponsible executor, this will delay the probate process. When you’re choosing an executor for your estate, it’s important to ask yourself if they have the capacity to fulfill the role. You could hire a third-party fiduciary to manage your estate when you’re unable to find a family member or friend that you think is suitable. The law holds fiduciaries to higher standards than individual executors.
It’s difficult to value unusual assets like racehorses and collectibles. The IRS may have a much different idea of what they are worth than you or the executor do. Estates that are high in liquidity sometimes need to remain open until the executor is able to sell the assets.
Assets in more than one state
Estates that have assets in more than one state take longer to go through probate because the executor needs to handle more than one legal process. Real estate is one of the obvious examples of having assets in more than one state. A less common example is mineral rights from another state. Living in Florida doesn’t put those mineral rights under Florida jurisdiction.
Be understanding when you go through the probate process because there are legitimate reasons why it may take longer if the estate is large or complex. It’s not always the executor’s fault when probate takes a while. When you write your will, also take the above factors into consideration to try setting up your plan in a way that’s faster to execute.