Florida Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys Answer Your Estate Administration Questions
North Central Florida Estate Planning Attorneys Focus on Probate
Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person, paying debts, and distributing assets to their beneficiaries. The costs of the probate proceeding are paid first, then the remaining assets are used to pay the decedent’s creditors and the balance is distributed to the beneficiaries.
Probate in Florida
According to Florida law there are two types of probate administration:
- Formal administration
- Summary administration
Probate administration applies only to probate assets, or assets that the decedent owned in their sole name at the time of their death, or were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners without a provision for automatic succession of ownership at death.
Depending upon the circumstances, any of the following people might have a role in the probate administration of an estate:
- Clerk of the circuit court in the county where the deceased person resided at the time of their death
- Circuit court judge
- Personal representative or executor
- Those filing claims relative to debts incurred by the decedent
- The Internal Revenue Service, as to any federal income taxes the decedent may owe
What Makes Probate Necessary?
Probate is required to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to his beneficiaries. If the deceased had a valid will, unless it is admitted to probate in the court, it will be ineffective in passing ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to beneficiaries. If the deceased had no will, probate is necessary to transfer their assets under Florida law. Probate is also required to conclude the decedent’s financial affairs after their death, and ensure that their creditors are paid.
Do you have questions about the probate process in Florida? Dean & Dean, LLP have advised many people throughout Marion, Sumter, Citrus, and Lake counties concerning probate, estate planning, and real estate matters. Contact us online or call (352) 368-2800 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our experienced probate attorneys today.