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  • Where do I file my Probate Paperwork?

    You should file all probate paperwork with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where the decedent lived prior to death. There will usually be a filing fee, which must be paid upfront, to initiate the probate process. Appropriate paperwork, including the will must also be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
     

  • Who will supervise the Probate process and make final decisions?

    A Circuit Court Judge will preside over the probate process. He or She will assess the validity of a will, appoint a personal representative, if necessary, and insure that assets are divided in accordance with Florida Law.
     

     

  • What happens to probate assets if there is no will?

    To summarize, if there is no will, Florida Statute 732.102-3, regarding Intestate Succession, delineates who gets what depending on whom the decedent left behind (ie. spouse, children, parents, siblings). Otherwise known as Intestate Succession, the rules function a default plan to specify how assets are shared if it is not explicitly stated in the will, or if there is no will at all. For a More detailed answer, you can visit this page . 
     

  • Who will be involved in the Probate Process?

    The following list includes those who may be involved in the probate process, depending on the financial situation of the decedent:

    • Clerk of the Circuit Court
    • Circuit Court Judge
    • Personal Representative/Executor
    • Personal Representative’s Attorney
    • Claimants (those who the decedent was in debt to – creditors, health care providers)
    • IRS (if the decedent owed any federal income taxes or estate taxes)
    • Florida Department of Revenue
    • Surviving family
    • Other beneficiaries

  • What is a will?

    A will is a legal document written to ensure that a person's possessions or responsibilities are taken care of according to their wishes after their death. A will may include the appointment of a personal representative, along with the delineations of which beneficiaries will get what. 
     

  • We cannot locate the will. Now what?

    Florida law presumes that if the original document cannot be produced, it was the decedent’s intent that the document be destroyed. It is possible to overcome this presumption depending upon specific facts. If the presumption cannot be overcome, the probate process would then follow the intestate succession process instead.
     

  • What is Summary Probate Administration?

    Summary Probate Administration is a shortened proceeding to administer an estate. Summary administration is allowed if more than two years have elapsed since the date of decedents death, or if the assets involved total LESS than $75,000. A personal representative is not required for Summary Probate Administration. However, the beneficiaries of a summary administration remain responsible for all creditor claims that are discovered in a timely fashion. 
     

  • What are considered assets in Probate Administration?

    Probate assets are those items of value that were owned solely by the decedent. These assets must not have a provision for automatic succession, other wise they will not be considered probate assets. For example, bank accounts, real estate (but not the homestead property), and a life insurance payable to the decedent’s estate are all probate assets, but trust funds, joint bank accounts, life insurance policies payable to an individual, or real estate owned jointly would not be. 
     

  • What is Formal Probate Administration?

    Formal Probate Administration is the required proceeding when Summary Administration is either not appropriate or not selected by the interested parties. A personal representative is required for Formal Probate Administration.
     

  • What is Probate?

    Probate is the process by which the court identifies and gathers a decedent’s assets. Through the probate process, all taxes, claims, and expenses are paid, and assets are distributed among beneficiaries. The probate code can be found in Title XLII of the Florida Statutes. There are two types of probate administration, Formal Administration and Summary Administration.