How Long Does Probate Take in Florida (With & Without Will)

Understanding the probate process in Florida is crucial for anyone dealing with the formal administration of a deceased person’s estate. One of the common questions asked is, “How long does probate take in Florida without a will, or with a will?” This timeframe can vary significantly depending on several factors, including whether the deceased had a will and the complexity of the estate.

In this article, we will explore these variables and provide a comprehensive overview of the probate timeline in Florida. 

How Long Does Probate Take in Florida?

The duration of probate in Florida typically ranges from six to nine months if the estate is straightforward. However, for more complex estates or those involving disputes the probate process can take over a year. The process includes appointing an executor, the 90-day creditor’s period, payment of creditors, and more.

Conversely, if a loved one died without a will, the estate is considered “intestate,” and the Florida probate court must appoint a personal representative, making the procedure longer and more complex. Additionally, the size of the estate and any potential legal challenges can considerably extend the probate period.

When dealing with a formal probate process, it is crucial to understand the specific type of probate applicable to your probate case. For instance, the date of death significantly impacts the proceedings, as it determines deadlines to issue letters of administration and file the original will. The executor must initiate the process by petitioning the court within the county where the deceased resided. Creditors and potential heirs receive notice, allowing them to come forward with any claims. Additionally, small estates might qualify for simplified procedures, expediting the resolution.

How Long Does Probate Take in Florida Without a Will?

When someone passes away without a last will and testament in Florida, the estate goes through intestate probate, which can take longer than probate with a will. While some may question handling probate without a lawyer, the process can be intricate and lengthy. Another frequent question is, do I need a lawyer to get a letter of testamentary? While not required, having an experienced estate lawyer can simplify the process and ensure legal obligations are met.

The probate process in Florida without a will can take 9 months to over a year, depending on factors. The absence of a will leads to the court following intestacy laws to determine heirs, adding time. The probate court in the county appoints a personal representative after verifying their qualifications, which can face delays, especially with disputes or issues.

Probate without a will is typically more time-consuming and complex. 

How Long Does Probate Take in Florida With a Will?

Probate in Florida is smoother with a valid will. Generally takes 6 to 9 months, but can vary based on estate complexity and personal representative efficiency. A will clarifies asset distribution, reducing disputes. Still, steps like validating the will, notifying creditors, and settling debts are required.

Florida law governs advance inheritance issues. Challenges or complications can extend probate. An uncontested will speeds up the probate proceedings. 

Florida Probate Timeline

Understanding the Florida probate process timeline is crucial for estate settlements. This section details the stages and timeframes, aiding in expectation management. The probate timeline in Florida varies. Whether with or without a will, a clear timeline helps ensure timely completion. From the initial petition to asset distribution, this guide gives a comprehensive view of Florida probate. Engaging a probate lawyer can streamline the procedure and address disputes, often funded by the estate.

Important Deadlines

During Florida probate, meeting critical deadlines is crucial for smooth estate administration. Failure to do so can lead to delays and issues. Here are the key deadlines you must adhere to:

  1. File a petition for administration promptly after the decedent’s death to appoint a personal representative. Determine the formal administration type. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays.
  2. Publish a notice to estate creditors within 30 days of the appointment of the personal representative, which starts the claims period.
  3. Creditors generally have 90 days from the first publication of the notice to file their claims against the estate.
  4. File an inventory of assets within 60 days of the personal representative’s appointment. This inventory accounts for all the decedent’s possessions.
  5. Object to creditor claims within 4 months from the first publication of the notice to creditors if necessary. It’s critical to review and dispute illegitimate claims promptly.
  6. File federal estate tax returns within nine months of the decedent’s death. Timely tax filing is essential to avoid penalties and interest.
  7. Submit a final accounting to the court once all debts, taxes, and claims are resolved to proceed with the distribution of the remaining assets.

Meeting these deadlines is crucial for a timely estate settlement and maintaining the integrity of the probate process. Understanding Florida probate law is essential. Consult legal professionals to ensure compliance and address any complexities that may arise.

Important deadlines

Within ten days of the decedent’s death, the personal representative must file the will with the local circuit court. Following this, a notice to creditors is issued, allowing them 90 days to file claims against the estate.

If beneficiaries or other interested parties wish to contest the will, they generally have a 90-day window from the date of receiving the letters of administration.

These deadlines ensure that the probate process proceeds efficiently and transparently, safeguarding the interests of all involved parties.

Failure to adhere to these timelines can result in delays and potential legal complications.

How Long Is Probate in Florida? Our Conclusion

Probate duration in Florida varies based on factors such as will presence, estate complexity, and disputes. With a valid, uncontested will, the probate process usually takes 6-9 months. Without a will, the process can extend from 9 months to over a year due to additional complexities and adherence to intestacy laws. Numerous steps are involved, including will validation, creditor notification, debt settlement, tax resolution, and asset distribution.

Meeting deadlines is crucial to prevent delays. Personal representatives and beneficiaries should consult legal professionals to ensure requirements are met smoothly. Understanding these timelines helps manage expectations and prepares all parties for probate. A common question is “how do you handle probate without a lawyer?” There are a few ways such as using a DIY probate kit or hiring a probate specialist.


How long does an executor have to settle an estate in Florida?

An executor typically has a year to settle an estate in Florida. However, this can vary based on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that arise. Factors such as the need to sell the estate assets, resolve debts, and distribute assets can affect the timeline.

How long does probate court take in Florida?

The Florida probate court time frame could be from a few months to over a year. Duration depends on factors like complexity of the estate, whether there are disputes among beneficiaries, and how quickly documents are filed and processed. Simple cases may resolve faster, but complicated ones may take longer.

When dealing with the complexities of estate management, probate lawyers in Florida can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the entire probate process.

When does probate end?

Probate ends when the court formally closes the estate, having ensured all debts are paid and assets distributed according to the will or state law. This process can take several months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that arise.

Once all requirements are confirmed without issues, the court will order estate closure, completing probate and relieving the personal representative. Adhering to statutory deadlines is crucial to avoid delays in reaching this final stage. It is ultimately up to the court to determine who pays probate attorney fees in Florida.

How long does summary administration take in Florida?

An order of summary administration in Florida typically takes around 3 to 6 months. The process duration depends on several factors, including the court’s schedule, the complexity of the estate, and how quickly required documents are submitted. More complex estates or delays in paperwork can extend this timeframe.

How long do you have to file probate after death in Florida with no will?

In Florida, probate must be initiated within 10 days of the executor of the estate being notified of the person’s death. Without a will, the court appoints a personal representative to manage the estate. Delays can complicate the process, for this reason timely action is crucial.

One might wonder,what is a probate lawyer going to be able to do in these situations when the estate lacks a valid will and the process seems overwhelming.

How long after a person dies will beneficiaries be notified in Florida?

In Florida, beneficiaries are typically notified within 30 days after the personal representative is appointed by the court. This process ensures that the estate administration proceeds smoothly and that all interested parties are informed promptly. The timeline can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and court schedule.

How long can an estate be in probate?

The duration of probate can vary widely, typically ranging from several months to a few years. This timeframe depends on factors such as the complexity of the estate, the efficiency of the executor, and whether any disputes or legal challenges arise among beneficiaries or creditors.

Cueto Law Group P.L.