The answer varys from estate to estate.  The biggest factors seem to be how mant executors and beneficiaries are there and what are the asset type?  The more beneficiaries and executors, the more likely there is to be a dispute and or a prolonged process of decision making about the sale of assets.  Also, real estate and closely held businesses often take longer to sell than publicly traded stocks and cds or bank accounts.  In general most estate that we help to administer are done and closed within 6 to 14 months.  But distributions can often be made much quicker.
David M. Frees, III
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Attorney, Speaker and Author