How long does the personal representative on a probate case have to wait after paying all debts before the estate is closed?

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How long does the personal representative on a probate case have to wait after paying all debts before the estate is closed?

Asked on September 30, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no time period required for the personal representative to wait before closing the estate.  To close the estate, the PR must satisfy the court that all assets have been collected, all debts have been paid, and all distributions are complete.

In general, creditors have 90 days to submit a claim in the estate after publishing a notice that the estate has been opened.  In addition, attorneys and personal representatives attempt to send specific notices to known creditors.  This process generally assures everyone that the debts have been satisfied.  If tax issues arise, that will cause delays.  If the PR objects to one or more claims, that will cause delays.  If Medicare or Medicaid are involved, that may cause delays.  There are other circumstances that can engender delays in closing an estate.  However, if the attorney and PR can legitimately prepare a final accounting, then the estate should be ready to be closed.

I suggest you call the attorney for the PR and ask if a final accounting has been completed.  If it has not, ask what is preventing that.  If it is ready, ask when the estate can be closed.

PR's can make some distributions to beneficiaries even without the final accounting and closing the estate.  If you are waiting for a distribution, you can go ahead and ask when you will receive it.


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