Probate Administration & Litigation Law
What is Probate and why do I need to go?
Probate court is when the justice system hashes out your estate or that of a passed loved one. If the will and/or trusts are not clear, are incomplete, are not properly authenticated, are not properly executed, or if they don’t exist, the Probate Court will determine how the estate is to be divided.
When a loved one passes away, it is an emotionally charged time. This is why a properly executed estate plan can take over and allow loved ones to grieve without worrying about how to access assets and pay debts. However, if probate becomes necessary, it’s important to review your options with an attorney.
Your loved one has passed and in these very tight and trying times, you could use your inheritance right about now to help with funeral arrangements and other costs surrounding the passing of your loved ones...so why don’t you have access to it?
The reason is because first the estate must be probated. This is because there may be creditors and other people that may be owed monies by your loved one that also may have rights to money to make their open balances whole again. Also any real property which is transferred by a will (and not recorded through the real property deed records) will need to go through the probate process.
There are three types of probate in Florida: ancillary, summary administration and formal administration. Each one has specific rules and applications and each has a separate financial billing structure when it comes to attorneys.
Ancillary probate is for when there is an asset in Florida but the majority of the estate is located in another state. The person who is filling on behalf of the loved one will need to file for probate in the home state as well as file for ancillary probate in Florida.
Summary Administration is for estates where the decedent has been dead for several years, or have a value of $75,000.00 or less without including the value of any homestead property.
Formal Administration is for all other estates.
The best way to avoid the probate process is to set up a consultation with an attorney to consider whether or not to change your deed, set up a trust or set up another estate plan.