Dealing with grief when a loved one passes away can be incredibly overwhelming. Unfortunately, you may find these feelings become even more complex when you must endure the probate process to handle their estate following their death. One common complaint regarding this matter is how long it can take. The following blog explores why probate can be long and how a probate lawyer in Pasco County, FL can help you through these challenging times.
Why Can Probate Be a Long Process?
When you are enduring the process of probating someone’s estate, understanding what you must expect is crucial. In Florida, this process can usually take a minimum of six months to a year and a half to complete. Generally, the more complex the estate is, the longer it will take.
There are typically seven stages an estate will go through. Each of these stages comes with a notice period, or waiting time, to allow the other parties (like creditors or beneficiaries) to respond. This generally takes six months. However, if there are disputes with creditors or beneficiaries that involve back-and-forth communications, this can be drawn out.
Is There Any Way to Shorten the Process?
If your loved one had a smaller estate, it may qualify for an expedited probate process known as summary administration. Essentially, estates worth less than $75,000 where the head of the estate has been deceased for two years can be probated as quickly as two weeks.
Additionally, if the head of the estate left only exempt, personal property or nonexempt personal property which does not equal the cost of their funeral (up to $6,000), they may qualify for disposition without administration. This is not technically probate, as it serves more as a reimbursement for the living expenses of the deceased leading up to their death.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
When going through summary administration or the formal probate process, it’s imperative to ensure you have an experienced attorney on your side. Not only do you have to file a considerable amount of paperwork for each stage of probate that an attorney can ensure is completed correctly, but keeping track of deadlines to ensure the process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible is essential.
Many feel overwhelmed by the complexity of this process, compounded by processing their own grief surrounding the loss of their loved one. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, we understand how devastating it can be to lose a loved one. That’s why our competent and compassionate team is dedicated to helping those going through probate by handling the legal complexities of this matter. When you don’t have to worry about filing paperwork, you can grieve the loss and celebrate the life of your loved one. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help you.