Probate in the State of Florida

Probate is a court proceeding that takes place when someone dies with a Last Will and Testament, a partially funded trust or without any estate planning in place. In Florida, probate courts oversee the administration of individual estates after death. When someone dies, there often exists estate matters that need to be addressed, such as transferring title to property, paying off creditors and completing tax forms. Probate is the process courts use to transfer the legal title of property owned by the one who died to heirs or beneficiaries after all the bills are paid.

If the estate contains property outside of Florida, it may be necessary to open another probate where the property is located to distribute that property. This is a separate legal proceeding that is required in the state where the property is located.

If someone owing you money has died, you may have a creditor’s claim in probate court. It is imperative that your claim is in the correct court and on time so that proper notice is given to your claim to make sure it gets paid.

In Florida, the law states that you must hire an attorney to probate the estate of a loved one.

Probate – Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions we receive from the clients and family members when it comes to the probate process:

  • What if the estate owes money?
  • What are some of the duties and powers of the Personal Representative?
  • Who may serve as the Personal Representative of an estate in Florida?
  • Where should the probate take place?
  • What are the costs associated with probate?
  • What happens to a gift you have put in your estate plan when that person predeceases you?
  • What if I want to contest the inheritance left to me?
  • What is the Family Allowance?
  • What property is exempt from creditor’s claims in probate?
  • What happens to your homestead in probate?
  • What are the rights of a child born after the parent’s death?
  • What has to go through probate in Florida?
  • What is a summary probate?
  • How can I avoid probate?
  • What if I am not a citizen of the United States but have property in Florida?
  • What if all of my named beneficiaries pass away before I do?
  • How are half-blood and adopted children treated in Florida?
  • How are children born outside of marriage treated in Florida?
  • What is the elective share in Florida?
  • What if I forget to put in a spouse or a child in my Will?
  • What does “per stirpes” mean?
  • What are the rights of other heirs in an estate in Florida?
  • What are the rights of the spouse in an estate in Florida?
  • What does it mean to die “intestate”?
  • Why should I want to avoid probate?
  • What happens to my jewelry and heirlooms upon my death?

As you can see, probate can be very complicated and time consuming. If your loved one has passed away or you have been named as the Personal Representative in someone’s Last Will and Testament, please do not wait to get the probate started. Give Wood, Atter & Wolf a call to schedule a consultation with us so that we can help guide you through this difficult process.

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