When a loved one dies, there are many things that need to be done immediately, despite the difficulty of doing them in the midst of one’s grief. These include registering the death, arranging the funeral, and giving notice to family and friends. It is also important to start probate procedures as soon as practical so that your loved one’s property can be transferred to the heirs. Karlson Law Group, P.A. can guide you through the process so that you avoid problems and take advantage of cost-saving opportunities. Below are some frequently asked questions (credit to Florida Bar Consumer Pamphlet – Probate):
What is Probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. In general, the decedent’s assets are used first to pay the cost of the probate proceeding, then are used to pay the decedent’s outstanding debts, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries. The Florida Probate Code is found in Chapters 731 through 735 of the Florida Statutes and the rules governing Florida probate proceedings are found in the Florida Probate Rules, Part I and Part II (Rules 5.010-5.530).
There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration. This pamphlet will primarily discuss formal administration.
There is also a non-court supervised administration proceeding called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.” This type of administration only applies in limited circumstances.
What are Probate Assets?
Probate administration only applies to probate assets. Probate assets are those assets that the decedent owned in his or her sole name at death, or that were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners and lacked a provision for automatic succession of ownership at death.