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How Long Does Probate Take

Puzzled about how long the probate process for an estate takes? Don’t fret; we’ve got your back. In this post, we’ll walk you through what exactly probate is and what you can expect during the process. We’ll also discuss potential factors influencing the probate process’s completion time. 

Don’t know about probate? Dont worry!

Because if you or someone you know has recently gone through or is going through a probate situation, keep reading! You’ll find helpful information and advice here.

At Greiner Law Corp, we understand how challenging it can be to navigate the complexities of probate. We specialize in estate planning and trust administration, so you can be sure you’ll receive sound advice from our experienced attorneys. 

With years of experience in the field and a passion for serving our clients, Greiner Law Corp is the perfect choice for helping you through this difficult time.

We hope

After reading this information, you’ll better understand how long probate takes and what to expect. Let’s begin!

Importance Of Probate

Close up of a Will document Close up of a Will document with writing hand probate stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

You must know the importance of probate before we dive into the timeline. Probate is an important part of estate planning. Probate is a necessary legal procedure that guarantees assets are appropriately allocated in compliance with the wishes of the deceased while also providing financial security for those involved. 

Having the right estate plan is important to fulfill your wishes after passing away. The probate process is legally required for all estates, regardless of size. 

It involves filing court documents and distributing assets according to the terms of a will or an intestacy law. It can involve dealing with creditors, distributing assets according to a will, protecting the estate from legal claims, and more.

The probate process can often be complicated and time-consuming, but it is integral to ensuring your estate is handled per your wishes. Probate also helps protect your family by ensuring all taxes and other liabilities have been paid, and all assets are distributed as you intended. 

What does a proper probate do?

Proper probate also helps to ensure that any disputes regarding the distribution of your estate assets are resolved quickly and efficiently, with minimal disruption for your family members.

A clear and comprehensive estate plan is the best way to ensure everything goes smoothly regarding probate. 

You must enlist a trustworthy attorney to ensure your wishes are carried out during probate. Investing in an estate plan now will spare your family from the time, money, and heartache they would otherwise experience later.

Estate Administration And Distribution Of Assets

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Estate administration and distribution of assets are important parts of life, especially when someone dies. Ensuring the estate money is handled properly is essential so that all parties involved are cared for appropriately.

The main steps in estate administration include

  • Collecting the deceased person’s assets
  • Determining who should receive them (usually through a will),
  • Paying final taxes and debts
  • And distributing the estate’s remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

The estate administration and distribution process can be complex, depending on the estate size and other factors, such as state laws. 


An experienced lawyer or financial advisor at Greiner Law Corp can help you navigate this process and take the necessary steps to ensure the assets are properly distributed.

Factors That Affect Probate Timeline

Understanding the factors that affect probate timeline is important for anyone dealing with an estate. Probate occurs after someone passes away and typically takes six months to two or three years, depending on certain variables.

  1. Size And Complexity Of The Estate

The probate process is contingent upon the size and complexity of the taxable estate; a larger, more intricate estate may take longer due to potential legal issues or multiple assets. However, smaller estates will often move through quickly without much hassle.

  1. Location

 In some states, probate can take significantly longer than in others. For example, California and New York are known to have lengthy probate process timelines. 

  1. Administrative Oversight

The number of administrative tasks that need to be completed can affect the timeline and how quickly they are attended to by court personnel or attorneys involved in the case. 

  1. Number Of Beneficiaries

If many beneficiaries are listed in the will, it may take longer for them to receive their inheritances. It is due to the need for them to sign paperwork and provide information before they can make distributions.

  1. Disputes

If any disputes arise over the validity of a will or estate distribution, you must resolve them before probate can be finalized. Disputes can significantly delay the legal process, so resolving them quickly is important. 

  1. Taxes

If estate taxes are owed on the estate, they must be paid before you can complete the probate. It could add time to the timeline if tax forms must be filed and payments submitted. 

Engaging a professional attorney can be integral in expediting the probate process. Not only can an attorney guarantee that all legal documentation is properly completed and filed, but it also eliminates any delays that may arise due to errors or omissions. 

Therefore, utilizing experienced counsel should be heavily considered when attempting to shorten the timeline of probating assets.

Let’s explore the other issues at hand.

Having gone through the principal factors influencing probate timelines, let’s now review some additional issues that could lead to postponements.

For example

if a will is contested or challenged, it can add months or even years to the process as it works through the court system. 


If the executor is experienced and efficient, they may be able to properly manage all the paperwork and other elements necessary for probate. It can also lead to delays in settling the estate. It’s important to ensure that whoever handles the probate process understands state laws and procedures well. 


It’s important to note that if there is a dispute between heirs during the probate process, this could also cause delays. It’s important to resolve conflicts quickly to keep the process moving. 

No matter what factors are causing delays, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the probate process. They can provide valuable advice and assistance to ensure the estate is processed efficiently and promptly.

Probate Process | Step-By-Step Guide

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The probate process doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy. The most important thing is that you understand each step of the process and can set realistic expectations for how long it will take. Here are the main steps involved in the probate process:

  1. Filing A Petition

This first step involves filing a petition with the court to open up an estate, appoint an executor or administrator, and identify any heirs. This document must be filed in the county where the deceased person lived at the time of their death.

  1. Notifying Heirs

After the petition is filed, it’s important to notify all potential heirs that they may have a claim against the estate. You can do this through an affidavit or a notice published in a local newspaper.

  1. Collecting Assets

The executor or administrator must collect all assets that belong to the estate and ensure they’re properly managed until the probate process is complete. This includes bank accounts, real estate, investments, and personal property.

  1. Settling Debts

Once all of the assets are collected, the executor or administrator must ensure that any outstanding debts the estate owes are paid off and all liabilities resolved. This may involve liquidating certain assets or making payment arrangements with creditors.

  1. Distributing Assets

After all, debts have been settled, the executor or administrator will begin distributing assets to the heirs as outlined in the deceased’s will. If there is no will, state law determines how assets are distributed.

How Long Does Probate Usually Take?

The probate process’s timeline depends on various aspects, such as any disputes that may arise and how complicated the estate is. Court-supervised probates take from nine to eighteen months to finish. 

It’s essential to remember that certain states have specific rules that can impact the time it takes for a will or trust administration to be completed.

For example, in Florida, a Summary Administration is available to those with small estates, and it typically takes 6-9 months to complete

A survey found that the average time for probate to be completed is between six and nine months. However, this time frame can be significantly extended if there are legal disputes among the beneficiaries or issues with the deceased person’s will.

It is important to note that the process may take longer than usual if you are going through probate court proceedings without a personal representative.  Always consider Greiner Law Corp, your constant companion in probate proceedings. 

Working With An Attorney

You may wonder what to expect when working with an attorney for probate. While proper legal formalities can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to stay that way! The key is familiarizing yourself with the services your lawyer will provide and properly preparing for any upcoming litigation.

At its core, probate involves distributing a deceased person’s assets under their will. If there is no will, distribute the assets per state laws. Your lawyer’s job is to ensure this happens legally, quickly, and efficiently. 

To begin the process, your attorney will ask you for documentation such as birth certificates and titles to any real property owned by the deceased. This can be daunting, but your lawyer is there to help you find and organize the necessary documents. 

Your attorney will also alert beneficiaries of the probate proceedings and ensure that everyone involved is aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding the distribution of assets.

Know that,

In certain situations, disputes between beneficiaries must be mediated to determine the rightful owner of assets. An experienced attorney will ensure that all probate processes are conducted in accordance with applicable legal standards. 

Additionally, your lawyer can draft and submit any required paperwork for court filings, federal estate tax returns, and other relevant documents to effectively conclude the probate process.

Ways To Speed Up Probate

To expedite the probate process, it is important to hire an attorney. Furthermore, ensure that all your documents are in order when you file with the court. This way, everything will go smoothly and quickly! 

This includes a copy of the deceased person’s will, if one exists; death certificates; and any paperwork related to the estate, such as deeds or bank accounts.

Having all of this paperwork ready will help to speed up the process.

Another way,

To speed up probate is to identify and contact any heirs with a claim on the estate. This can help you avoid future delays if an heir contests the will or claims missing assets.

Finally, avoid probate mistakes that can slow the probate process. For example, if you handle the probate yourself, comply with all court orders and procedures on time. Taking too long or failing to adhere to the court’s instructions can often add extra time or complications to the probate process.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to speed up the probate process and help ensure a smooth transition for the estate.

Small Estate Administration

Small Estate Administration is a process that occurs when the deceased person has died without leaving a Last Will and Testament or if their estate is not large enough to require formal probate or informal probate procedures. 

It allows the deceased’s property to be distributed to those legally entitled, often through an Affidavit of Heirship. This can be done quickly, without court involvement, and with minimal paperwork. 

The process is relatively simple and can be done by the heirs or their representatives. It’s important to note that the rules and regulations for Small Estate Administration vary by state, so it’s wise to do your research before beginning this process.


To sum up, the length of a probate hearing can range from a few weeks to multiple months. If you’re looking for an inheritance or need rapid access to the estate’s resources, it might be advantageous to consult with a seasoned legal professional who can help guide you through this process as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Let Greiner Law Corp take the stress and hassle out of probate. Our highly qualified legal experts are ready to guide you through this challenging process quickly and efficiently, giving you peace of mind during a trying period. 

Reach out today for more information on how we can help, we’re excited to get started!


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