The legal process known as Probate is how a deceased person’s assets are passed on or distributed according to the deceased person’s will or if there is no will to their heirs as determined by law. In Florida this process is handled in Probate Court which oversees the process ensuring that the deceased person’s debts are properly settled and that property is distributed correctly.
There are three types of probate in Florida: Formal Administration, Summary Administration, and Ancillary Administration. Each of these types has its own requirements and all are governed by Florida Statutes. If you are unsure if your estate or that of your loved one qualifies for formal, summary, or ancillary administration call the office to schedule an initial consultation at no charge.
In Florida assets included in the Probate process can include these types:
- Financial Accounts such as checking or savings accounts, mutual funds, investment accounts or other types of accounts held by the decedent. Joint accounts are not included in probate.
- Any policies, contracts, or other funds that list the decedent’s Estate as a beneficiary. Life insurance, IRA accounts, or annuities are examples.
- Real property (real estate – land, buildings, homes) that is held in the individual name of the decedent may be included in probate. Note that in Florida homestead properties are not part of the probate estate but homestead property does have to be included so the court can establish the property as homestead. Jointly held property is not included in probate.
If you would like to see a real world example of how the Probate process can affect you, please see: A Story About Your Home, Your Heirs And Probate
Experienced representation is important whether it is an undisputed probate or if a lawsuit is filed requiring a probate litigator. Call to schedule an initial consultation in one of our offices or at your home. Attorneys are available 24/7 and initial consultations are always free.