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Understanding the different types of probate in Florida

| May 15, 2020 | Firm News

In Florida, probate can be confusing. For heirs of a deceased person and the individual who is given the role as executor of a will, it can be a troubling time to address these considerations so soon after the death of a loved one. It is easy to miss certain key points. Before the case moves forward, it is wise to think about probate, its terms and what must be done to successfully complete it. The basics can be essential with these circumstances and a major part of that is knowing the court process for probate.

With probate, the decedent’s assets are identified and gathered. An executor and those involved as potential heirs have a great deal to think about. Probate litigation can take place. People are sometimes displeased with their inheritance and call the decedent’s estate plan into question. There are fundamentals to think about. First, outstanding debts will be paid. Then the remaining assets will be allocated to the beneficiaries based on the decedent’s stated wishes. For those unaware of how probate works, there are two kinds of probate administration. They are formal administration and summary administration.

For probate administration, the probate assets are all that is relevant. These are properties owned by the decedent without any other individual having an ownership claim. If there was a home and the decedent’s name was the sole name on the deed, then that is applicable to probate administration. Another part of probate administration are properties that the decedent owned with a single or multiple co-owners and there was no provision regarding its succession when the person died. With summary administration, the value of property that is exempt from creditor claims cannot go beyond $75,000 or the person must have been dead for at least two years.

For those wondering why probate is needed, it is important because it allows assets to be passed legally to beneficiaries and outstanding debts to be paid. This will serve to wrap up the financial affairs after he or she has died. The goal of a well-constructed estate plan is to ensure the person’s will is adhered to and other strategies succeed. Probate can be challenging for those left behind, especially for the person tasked with being an executor. Costs, the possibility of legal challenges, understanding taxes and more will likely come to the forefront. For estate planning and probate, having legal advice can be essential. A legal consultation with a firm experienced in estate planning and probate may be helpful in a case.