Probate is the court-supervised administration of a decedent’s estate. It is the process where the court transfers assets from the decedent’s name to the name of his/her beneficiaries. The Court appoints a personal representative to handle the estate administration. Before the assets can be distributed, the personal representative is charged with many time sensitive duties. Some of those duties include, locating decedent’s assets, filing an inventory and appraisal with the court, notifying “reasonably known” creditors, determining if there is a valid will and paying the decedent’s creditors, taxes and expenses from the probate estate.
Personal representatives have many important decisions to make. These decisions will dictate how probate will be administered. Did the decedent die “testate” or “intestate”? Is there a valid Will? Should probate be administered as “formal administration” or “summary administration” or does the estate qualify under “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration”? Florida probate proceedings are complicated, expensive and time-consuming. The appointed personal representative is accountable to the court and to the estate beneficiaries for his/her actions throughout the administration of the estate. The Florida Probate Code is found in Chapters 731 through 735 of the Florida Statutes. The rules governing Florida probate proceedings can be found in the Florida Probate Rules, Part I and Part II (Rules 5.010-5.530).
Trying to maneuver through probate law while strictly complying with relevant statutory deadlines is NOT A-Do-It-Yourself-Task. Qualified and experienced counsel should be retained.
If you would like more information about our Probate practice, please contact us at (561) 299-0018 to schedule a free consultation. We can advise you on your rights and duties under the law. More importantly, we can effectively represent and counsel you throughout this rigorous probate process.