I know you’re wondering, how long does an executor actually have to wrap up a whole probate? What are the time limits around this? In Arizona probate can take basically as long as it needs. An executor doesn’t really have a timeline. There’s a recommended start date, which is 60 days after somebody passes away.
When should everything get distributed to you, if you’re a beneficiary? There’s no deadline. Basically, our laws say it has to be done in a reasonable timeframe, and we all know what the courts think is reasonable.
It really can take as long as the executor wants, as long as they’re doing something to move it forward. I’ve seen people drag their feet for 2, 3, 4 years before the court really gets on them and says, “get this done.”
The way we do it is we typically try to start as soon as somebody’s ready, considering what their family is going through, but then get it started. Generally speaking, there are four stages of the whole thing.
There’s basically getting started, there’s inventorying the estate, then there’s dealing with creditors, and then there’s the part everyone really wants, which is the distributions. Each stage has a bunch of subparts and a sub bunch of substeps, and a lot of things that happen inside each one that are required.
As far as timelines go, each one takes about two to three months. You’re looking at eight months to a year when it’s done professionally, like by people who know how to do things and do it for a living and do it all the time and, and save you frustration and hassle and headache. It still takes nine to twelve months. That’s a pretty common thing that we see for probate in Arizona.
If you are figuring it out for the first time, doing this on your own, this first step might take you not two to three months, but maybe three to six months. When you file something with the court, it gets rejected because you didn’t check that box correctly or whatever.
Then you fix it, send it back, and now we look at the next box. You did that one wrong. So there’s a lot of frustrating bureaucracy and red tape with the court system.
In Arizona, the timeline for wrapping up a probate has no strict deadline for executors. Ideally, the recommended start date is around 60 days after the individual’s passing and done within a reasonable timeframe. If you’re navigating probate for the first time or independently, expect potential delays and bureaucratic challenges. Working with experienced lawyers can streamline the probate process.