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The estate attorneys at Statewide Probate® have extensive experience in dealing with Florida summary probate administration. In the following article, we discuss how long the legal process for summary probate can take and the factors that could affect the timeline.
The length of time a summary probate administration takes depends on what county in Florida the probate will be in, and, in some counties, the individual judge. The normal summary probate administration takes four to six weeks; in a few cases it takes four months.
If the property owner has been dead more than two years, a summary administration is fairly predictable, and orders are normally obtained within four weeks of filing the petition if there is no will or if the will is self-proving.
However, for summary probate administrations filed within the first two years, the timetable is unpredictable in a few counties if an Order Determining Homestead is required by a title underwriter.
The majority of judges in Florida will enter the requested homestead order immediately, with the summary administration order. This is true even when there is a mortgage on the homestead, provided the mortgagee (bank) is given notice.
However, a few judges have a policy of holding up the homestead order for three months, after which they will enter the order. The logic of this policy is hard to see, because normally these same judges do not require publication of a notice to creditors and normally there is no question as to the homestead status of the property.
So, when we, as estate attorneys, are asked how long a Florida summary administration with homestead will take, we have to find out what county we are dealing with first. Then we will confirm that the title underwriter will require a homestead order. After finding out this information, we can usually determine if we are on the normal four to six week track, or on the less desirable four month track.
When you are dealing with Florida summary probate administration, you should trust your estate to attorneys who fully understand the state's probate code. The lawyers at Statewide Probate not only have extensive Florida probate administration experience, but also offer reasonable probate administration fees, which are often lower than the standard rate charged in the state. Schedule a free probate consultation today and find out why we are able to serve estates in Pensacola, Miami, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Daytona Beach, Tampa Bay, Fort Meyers, and throughout the state.