It’s never easy to deal with the death of a family member or spouse. The dilemma of how to manage the deceased person’s estate adds to the difficulty. When people die, they do not often leave their affairs in correct condition. There is a will sometimes, but there are issues with it. There are moments when there isn’t any will at all. If there are substantial assets involved and you are a possible heir, you may need assistance through the probate and estate administration formalities in Florida.
When Does Probate Become Necessary for an Estate?
If your loved one specified beneficiary and stated his or her desires in a will and died with assets solely in his or her name, the estate would have to go through probate, which is the legal procedure by which a will is validated by the court. This may be a lengthy and challenging procedure, particularly for an executor who has no legal experience.
The Court-supervised process of settling a decedent’s financial issues is known as probate administration. Probate administration is not required all the time. Many decedents do not have to form a probate estate. The fact that the decedent had no assets in his name at the time of his death is a typical reason why probate isn’t necessary. Probate may not be necessary if a decedent’s real estate, banking information, and other assets are owned jointly with another person.
Who Owns the Assets of the Decedent?
The estate is essentially in the hands of the probate court. The Court appoints a Personal Representative (executor) to oversee the estate’s day-to-day operations. The Personal Representative must abide by the Court’s orders as well as Florida law.
One of the Personal Representative’s responsibilities is to locate all of the decedent’s assets. Interaction with the decedent’s relatives, banks, and other resources is usually required. The Personal Representative will create a bank account in the probate estate’s name, store personal items, and take other procedures to manage the decedent’s assets. The Personal Representative must, of course, account to the Court and the heirs for the job he or she has done.
What if the Decedent had financial obligations?
Identifying the decedent’s creditors and planning to settle the decedent’s debts is a part of the Florida probate administration procedure.
Creditors must normally be paid before any heirs get their inheritance, according to law. There are, however, deviations to these basic guidelines for certain categories of assets (such as homestead, cars, and other exempt property).
Type of Probate Administration in Florida
There are various sorts of Florida probate processes, each of which is based on the facts of the case. Alternatives to probate in Florida include:
- Formal Administration – The most popular type of Florida probate procedure is formal administration. No matter how valuable a decedent’s belongings are, a formal administration will always clarify the title to them. As a result, formal administration is the most appropriate type of probate for many estates.
- Disposition Without Administration – A judicial procedure for dealing with a deceased person’s assets without the need for administration is known as a disposition without administration. It is rarely utilized since it is only available in extremely specific conditions.
- Summary Administration – A simplified version of probate is summary administration. It only pertains if the deceased has died for more than two years and the entire worth of the decedent’s property (excluding exempt assets) is less than $75,000.00.
- Ancillary Administration – Ancillary administration is the administration of a decedent’s estate who died outside of Florida. In many circumstances, ancillary administration is almost identical to formal administration. However, there are times when ancillary administration might save time and money.
Contact our Probate Administration Attorney
At Marrero Serrano Farah La, LP, we defend both people who have a direct claim to assets and those who must show kinship to inherit. Relatives who feel they have a claim must prove it in a kinship hearing if a person dies without a will and has no living family members closer than a first cousin. This is a lengthy procedure that will require several hearings, but you will be spared much of the stress if you have skilled attorneys on your side. Our legal team has experience with kinship hearings and will work hard to make this a quick and painless procedure for you.