The Florida probate process takes a different amount of time based upon the type of probate. There are two main types of probate in Florida: a formal probate administration and a summary probate administration. There is also a disposition without administration that is available in very limited circumstances.
The formal probate administration usually takes 6-9 months under most circumstances. This process includes appointing a personal representative (i.e., the "executor"), a 90 days creditor's period that must run, payment of creditor's claims and more. One important distinction on probate is that the personal representative, once appointed by the probate court upon petition by an attorney, has the ability to manage and sell the estate assets. This means that while the probate process can take a number of months, the estate assets can be sold and managed effectively. Once the creditor's period runs, the estate can generally start to be closed down with the personal representative following a strict process to close the estate.
The summary probate administration, usually reserve for small estates worth less than $75,000 that have no debt, can take less than a month under the right circumstances. In the summary administration, you need all of the beneficiaries to consent to the petition (under most circumstances). Once you have everyone's consent, once the petition to the court is submitted, the order of summary administration generally takes about 2-3 weeks (depending upon the county) to get back from the court. The order of summary administration will give the heirs access to the assets subject to the court order.
If your loved one died with assets in their own, individual name, then they will likely need to seek an attorney to deal with the probate/process. We have a lot more information on the Florida probate process on website.
If your loved one passed away and someone is telling you that assets need to be probated, you may want to download our free book on Navigating the Florida Probate Process. This book will walk you through the Florida probate process, how to hire an attorney, if you need to hire an attorney, and other helpful hints.