Probate Law

What is Probate in Florida?

Florida probate laws are premised on the idea that a person’s assets should go to those who have an interest in them. The probate process helps to ensure this goal. During the process, the court takes into account every interested party and their claim to an estate’s assets before distributing them. 

In order for an asset to transfer at death, it must be willed by the deceased individual or subject to a valid Florida Intestate Succession Act. The purpose of probate is to identify all of your assets and liabilities, find out if you want to leave anything out of your will, determine how much money each person inherits from you, and distribute your estate accordingly.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process of proving a will’s validity and then distributing assets according to the instructions in it. The surviving spouse or next of kin will typically file the necessary paperwork with the probate court to initiate the probate process.

Florida Probate Process

The probate process can vary depending on the situation, but in general, the court takes all of your assets and liabilities into account before distributing them to those you’ve named in your will or under the Florida Intestate Succession Act.

1. The executor of an estate has a duty to notify interested parties of their involvement in the probate process.
2. Once notified, interested parties have a duty to notify creditors and others with potential claims against the estate. They will also have a chance to provide any documentation that may help with the distribution of property at death.
3. An inventory is created and includes all property found in the deceased person’s possession and anything acquired during their lifetime, as well as any debts owed by them. All living children are notified about the inventory.
4. Claims against the estate are processed and settled based on a hierarchy that typically starts with unsecured debts (such as credit card debt), followed by secured debts (such as mortgages), and followed by other secured interests (like life insurance policies). 

After all debts have been paid, any remaining property is distributed according to who has an interest belonging to them under intestate succession laws or through provisions set out in a will.

Why Do I Need a Probate Attorney?

A probate attorney can help you determine what will happen with your loved one’s property after they die. Probate lawyers will help you decide who will inherit what percentage of your loved one’s estate and property and how this inheritance will be dispersed between family members. This is an important consideration when it comes to deciding what to do with your loved one’s belongings after they die, as well as how to distribute them among heirs.

Furthermore, your probate attorney can help you save time during the estate settlement process by taking care of the paperwork for you. Many people find themselves spending days or weeks gathering up documents related to their loved ones like wills, tax returns, deeds, and so on, only to find out that they need more documentation which they don’t have time or resources to gather on their own.

Moreover, your Florida probate attorney will handle all probate cases from the moment of death through final distribution. This includes everything from filing a Petition for Probate with the appropriate court to finalizing the estate administration process. They also make sure that your will is valid and will be properly executed when you pass away.

If you want to leave anything out of your will, you may need to file a petition for partial intestacy. If there’s no valid last will or if someone has already filed a petition for probate, it’s unlikely that this will happen.

Aside from handling all legal aspects of an estate’s administration, your probate attorney is also skilled in guiding grieving families through their time of loss. They understand what it means to go through the mourning process, and they can help you find peace during this difficult time. 

When a loved one passes away, the process of distributing their assets and liquidating their estate can be daunting. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this situation without a probate lawyer. This can lead to costly mistakes and the potential loss of important family heirlooms.

At Doane & Doane, we work closely with clients and provide them with customized advice that’s tailored specifically to their needs. Whether your goal is to execute your will without any complications or if you simply need guidance in settling an estate, we’re here for you.

Call Doane & Doane if You Need a Probate Attorney

Doane & Doane is your trusted law firm for probate in Florida. We understand the importance of estate planning and probate and will provide the legal counsel you need to ensure probate goes smoothly. So if you need a probate attorney in Palm Beach County, please contact our law office today to schedule a consultation. You can reach us by phone at 561-656-0200 or via our contact form.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.