The probate process can feel overwhelming to some people, and is not always met with open arms because of the patience needed to complete the process. The personal representative and heirs may become frustrated if certain issues extend the time necessary to conclude the administration of a loved one’s estate.
In Florida, the probate process can take anywhere from six months to a year or more—even when the personal representative follows all of the rules and handles everything correctly according to the law.
A long list of heirs or beneficiaries
An estate that involves many heirs or beneficiaries can make the probate process take longer than expected. More time is involved to locate and notify everyone, and even after all interested parties are contacted questions concerning the will sometimes arise.
While your loved one may have taken great care in deciding who will get what, there could be someone who disagrees.
The process can take even longer if there are beneficiaries who are difficult to reach. Finding family and friends who have been out of touch for a long time or who are not on a recent list of contacts will make the duties of the personal representative more complicated.
Assets such as houses and cars may present their own complications when distributing the assets of an estate. When unconventional assets are part of an estate, the process will tend to be more cumbersome.
Rare items or those with sentimental value are somewhat difficult to appraise. It is also challenging to value a collection if the will dictates splitting up the collection for distribution to individuals. Sometimes a collection is worth more if it remains intact. Beneficiaries often disagree about the determination of their respective shares.
All too often, beneficiaries cannot agree on what to do with unique assets. When there are disagreements a personal representative may need to sell any disputed assets and divide the proceeds between the beneficiaries. This, of course, will lengthen the time necessary to conclude a probate estate.