Probate

My Spouse Died And Left A Will Leaving His Assets To Me And My Children Do We Have To Probate The Will

Anytime there’s a will involved you must go through the probate process in the state of Florida. However, depending on how your property was owned, for instance, if it was owned by tenants by the entirety’s, it may not be necessary to go to probate. It’s important to speak with a qualified attorney that can advise you on your particular situation.

Watch an explanatory video here

What Are Letters Of Administration

Letters of administration are the document that appoints a personal representative to the estate to act on behalf of the estate. They give the personal representative the authority to deal with banks, to deal with creditors on behalf of the deceased person.

Watch an explanatory video here

How Long Will Probate Take In Florida

There are different types of probate in Florida. A formal administration are the most common type of probate. A formal administration typically will take nine months to a year. Summary administration is available for smaller estates or if the person has been deceased for two or more years.

Watch an explanatory video here

Do I Need The Original Will

You must have the original will in the state of Florida for it to be a valid will. There are other ways of establishing a lost or destroyed will, but the law presumes that if you cannot find the original will, that the person that created the will intended to destroy it or revoke it.

Watch an explanatory video here

Does All Property Have To Go Through Probate When A Person Dies

All property does not have to go through probate when a person dies. You can establish a trust to avoid probate. You can use different forms of real property ownership to avoid probate such as tenancy by the entireties, or joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Certain retirement plans and life insurance avoids probate. It’s important to seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney to determine what assets you have that may have to go through probate, and what assets you have that are exempt from probate.

Watch an explanatory video here

How Are The Estates Bills Paid

It’s important to know that the personal representative typically is not personally responsible for these debts, however there is a very complex and strict system in the order in which debts are paid. Certain creditors have priority over other creditors, so it’s important to have an experienced probate attorney on your side to help you navigate the waters.

Watch an explanatory video here

How Do I Choose An Attorney

It’s important to review an attorney’s experience and qualifications in the area which you’re intending to hire them. For instance, if you’re looking for a residential real estate attorney, have they been involved in a lot of real estate deals? What experience do they have with real estate litigation? It’s also a good idea to have someone you’re compatible with personality wise. The attorney-client relationship is very important, and attorney and client must trust each other to come up with the best outcome.

Watch an explanatory video here

Are There Alternatives To The Formal Administration Of Probate

Formal administration makes up the vast majority of probates, but there are other alternatives. A person can do a summary administration if the decedent had less than $75,000 in assets minus any exempt assets, or has been deceased for two or more years. There’s also a very abbreviated process for a person that had no real assets. In that case, the small amount of assets available can be used to cover funeral expenses.

Watch an explanatory video here