We own our house, cars, furniture. We have no bills and no mortgage. We have several savings accts. If one or both of us were to die, how long would probate take? We have a will.
Estate Planning Attorney
On average, a probate after the death of a spouse can take anywhere from 6-18 months to complete. Holding property in joint tenancy or designating a pay-on-death beneficiary, can shorten or eliminate the necessity of probate on the death of the first spouse..
At any rate, some probates will last longer than 18 months albeit those are usually the exception resulting from litigation. So generally, the length of time will depend on four unknown factors: (1) the diligence and time the attorney representing the estate will be able to afford to administration, (2) the number of known or unknown creditor claims existing at the time of death (not now), (3) the experience and time the personal representative will take in completing all required actions under Arizona law, and (4) whether there are any devisees or heirs who might choose to contest the Will. What one can be certain of is that a Formal probate will take a bit longer because of the necessity for a court hearing as opposed to the properly named Informal probate (an easier way to probate the estate by submitting pleadings to the Registrar of probates). Finally, certain Arizona statutes mandate a set length of time for creditors to file claims, an inventory of the property to be completed and delivered to devisees under a Will, and the payment of both fiduciary income taxes and an individual's last income tax return, before the estate can be closed.
If the house is to be sold as part of the probate, that will drag out the probate. If the house is to be signed over to the person or persons named in the will to let them sell it or keep it, then the longest part is waiting for the 4 month notice to creditors to run, with a few weeks worth of paperwork on either side of that period.