Probate & Trust
Probate is the process of assessing and identifying a decedent's assets, paying the decedent's debts and paying the decedent's beneficiaries. The probate process is supervised by a court judge and administered by a Personal Representative. The Personal Representative can be a person, bank or trust company appointed by the judge. In most cases, Probate Administration in Florida requires representation by a Florida licensed attorney. Elder Law, P.A. has the resources to represent the Personal Representatives of an estate.
When is Probate needed?
Any assets left that were solely in the decedent’s name will need to go through the Probate process. Any other assets that were co-owned and did not have a provision for automatic succession upon death will also need probate administration.
Probate is exercised to manage the decedent’s estate and finalize any financial affairs. This includes paying the costs of the probate process, the decedent’s funeral expenses, any outstanding debts the decedent has, and then disbursing the remainder to the beneficiaries.
How does the Probate process work?
Upon the person’s passing, the custodian of the will needs to file an original copy with the clerk of courts. This must happen within 10 days of the person’s passing. The clerk will assign a file number and keep an ongoing record of any documentation filed for the administration of probate for the decedent.
If the decedent did not have a will, this is considered “intestate.” Although a person may have died intestate, their assets will not automatically go to the state. The assets will be distributed to the deceased person’s heirs according to the Florida intestate statute.