Probate in Florida Is Manageable with the Right Lawyer
Don’t let your assets get bogged down in probate
Probate in Florida needn’t be difficult if you have a knowledgeable Melbourne probate attorney. Probate is defined by the Florida Bar as “a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries (heirs). Probate is often reviled, but it is often unavoidable if the decedent died without a will, or died with a will. So if that circumstance arises, we can assist you to make probate as fast, efficient, and painless as possible. In general, probate consists of filing a petition for administration with the court, which opens the estate. A Personal Representative (executor) is then appointed. The executor (PR) then gathers the decedent’s assets, and pays the decedent’s final bills, including funeral, burial, cremation, utilities bills, credit card bills, loans, etc. Ultimately, the assets of the estate are then distributed to the beneficiaries (heirs) of the estate, who receive a devise (inheritance) from the estate. One benefit of probate is to have court oversight over the estate. This way, the family and heirs are ensured that the law is followed, that there is no mismanagement of the estate by the PR, and that all assets are accounted for.
What constitutes a probate asset?
Assets that a person owns solely in his or her name at death, without a beneficiary designation or other designation such as POD (payable on death), ITF (in trust for), or otherwise, must go through probate to reach the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries. For example, if an asset is jointly owned, it does not go through probate if one person dies. And if your family member, friend or loved ones has a beneficiary on his or her life insurance policy, that does not go through probate. And if there is a beneficiary on a 401-K or IRA, that does not go through probate. But if the decedent left a bank account, or car, or other asset solely in his or her name at death, with no named beneficiary, that asset must be probated to reach you or the other heirs. A seasoned attorney who knows probate law in Florida can advise you and your family on the best course of action to take if you suddenly find yourself facing probate. Although the probate process can be complicated, and sometimes lengthy, our Brevard County probate staff can guide you through this maze. We realize that the time after a loved one dies can be difficult, and sad, and overwhelming. Our Brevard County attorneys have extensive experience in this area, and help relieve the pressure and stress that probate can cause you and your family. We are prepared to help you handle an estate and make sure the job gets done quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with the Florida Probate Code and Florida Probate Rules .