Frequently Asked Questions About The Probate Process
When a loved one dies, there are many things that need to be done immediately, despite the difficulty of doing them during 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.
At Karlson Law Group, P.A., we can guide you through the process so that you avoid problems and take advantage of cost-saving opportunities. Below are some frequently asked questions that we receive from our Lake Placid and Sebring clients:
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 to pay the decedent’s outstanding debts, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
Are there different types of probate?
There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration. There is also an administration proceeding not supervised by the court 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.
Who oversees the probate process?
Typically, a Will includes a named executor who can manage the probate process. In the absence of a Will, a probate judge will appoint an administrator. Because the probate process can be considerably complex, it is often wise to consult with a probate lawyer for assistance.
Is it possible to avoid probate?
With proper planning, you can position your Will to efficiently distribute your assets. With the creation of trusts and other estate planning elements, you can design a comprehensive plan that will protect your legacy as well as the interests of your loved ones.