If a person dies and owns anything that does not transfer upon death like a bank account, car, home, retirement account, or accounts receivable a Florida Probate is necessary to transfer these assets to the rightful owner. It does not matter if they have a will, a trust, or any other estate planning documents. Often we get clients who say they are the executor or personal representative and attempt to manage the decedents assets. This cannot take place until the probate process has begun and the court has appointed someone to be the PR or executor.
The type of administration that is required depends on several factors.
1. The date of death;
2. The amount of assets;
3. If there will be litigation; or 4. If there is a will.
In addition, Florida law requires that if you are in possession of what you suspect to the be last will of a decedent it needs to be filed with the courthouse where the decedent resided within 10 days of death. If it has been more than 10 days you should file it anyway. We often file these for clients who are in the state and those from other states and there is no charge to file the will with the proper court.
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.