Your Most Important Florida Probate Questions and Answers

There’s no doubt that the probate process can feel stressful, confusing, and overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to endure it alone. An experienced Florida probate attorney in Tampa is the best person to walk you through the probate system and ensure that your family achieves the outcome you deserve. Before you call an attorney and begin, these common probate questions and answers will help you understand what you can expect.

What Exactly Is Probate?

Simply put, probate is a court process that settles a person’s estate after his death. Every will should specify a Personal Representative who is in charge of handling the estate’s probate process. This representative is often required to hire an attorney for representation throughout probate. The overall goal of this process is to collect the deceased person’s assets, pay creditors, and pass everything that remains to the beneficiaries stated in the will.

What Happens If a Person Dies Without a Will?

Probate is still required if somebody dies without a will. All of the person’s assets pass through “intestate succession” and Florida statutes are used to determine who inherits the estate assets. You could consult with a medicaid attorney tampa to clarify the current regulations around this situation. This is often stressful and emotional for surviving family members who may or may not qualify to receive assets based on the state laws.

What’s the Difference Between Formal and Summary Administration?

Formal and Florida summary administration are the two main types of probate that can occur. Formal administration is the traditional type used in the Florida probate system. It involves a personal representative settling the estate using the guidelines in the will. Summary administration is an alternate form of probate that can be used as a shortcut in specific instances: If the death occurred more than two years ago, or if the value of the probate estate is less than $75,000.  Though Summary administration is quicker and more affordable, it only applies to select people. If you are dealing with probate, it is most likely that you will need to hire a lawyer to guide you through the Formal administration process.