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Probate takes place after someone passes away (decedent). It ensures that the person’s property is identified and distributed to the proper beneficiaries or heirs, protects certain property from creditors, and takes care of paying the decedent’s debts if possible.
Probate is a court-supervised process. Property is distributed according to the decedent’s will or, if there is no will, then as directed in the Florida statutes.
Formal Administration – In general, formal administration is used when estates include assets valued over $75,000 (not including homestead) and/or have creditors.
Summary Administration – For estates with less than $75,000 in non-homestead assets, or when more than two years have passed since the death of the decedent.
When transfer of assets is not provided for through the proper legal methods, they can be subjected to probate following the owner’s passing. Through probate, the decedent’s creditors must follow a strict procedure to be paid from the assets of the estate. Some of the assets can be protected from creditors, such as the decedent’s homestead property, a limited amount of personal property, and sometimes the decedent’s vehicles. Let Daniels Law help get your loved one’s property to the family and protected as much as possible from creditors.
Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate in Florida?
While thorough estate planning is the most effective way to avoid having assets go into probate, people don’t always identify everything they need to, leaving some assets subject to the probate process in order to transfer title. This is most frequently seen with bank accounts with no named beneficiary, or title to the decedent’s home.
Creditor Claims Against the Estate
Any creditors to which the decedent owed money must file a claim against the estate before they can be paid. Once creditors make their claim for payment, the personal representative of the estate has an opportunity to object to the claim. If a claim is valid, it can only be paid in the order of priority outlined in the Florida statutes, and only if there are funds or assets available.
What The Florida Bar Has to Say
“A personal representative should always engage a qualified attorney to assist in the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. Many legal issues arise, even in the simplest probate estate administration, and most of these issues will be novel and unfamiliar to non-attorneys.
The Attorney for the personal representative advises the personal representative on the rights and duties under the law and represents the personal representative in probate estate proceedings. The attorney for the personal representative is not the attorney for any of the beneficiaries of the decedent’s probate estate.”
How we can Help Protect Your Loved One’s Assets in Florida
During your initial consultation we can discuss what your family is going through and examine the problems introduced by probate. This legal process can often be a confusing and emotional experience for families. By having an advocate on your side, you can prevent some of the confusion that leads to frustration. Let Daniels Law, P.A. help you protect your family’s assets.
Call (239) 214-6010 now to get started.