In Florida Probate is the legal process which occurs after death and is used to transfer assets and pay the debts of the person who is deceased. This process takes place in the Civil Court where the person lived at the time they passed away or in the county where the decedent owned property in Florida. Additionally, a probate proceeding is usually required in each state where the decedent owned property in their own name without a right of survivorship.
The basic steps to a Florida probate case are:
- Filing a petition in the Probate Court
- Heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors are identified.
- Notice is delivered to all heirs and beneficiaries.
- A public notice of petition is published in a local newspaper
- For larger estates a Personal Representative appointed by the court and obtains letters of administration
- An inventory of assets and debts is created.
- Creditors claims are verified and disputed when necessary.
- A proposed distribution of assets is presented to the Court.
- The Court determines and approves the distribution of assets and actions of the Personal Representative.
- The Probate is finalized through consent or by order of the Probate Judge.
A basic probate can be in the range of $1000-$1500 and larger estates typically are based on the assets in the estate. We will quote fixed fees for probates and even discount them in larger estates based on the statutory guidelines.
Timeshares can be problematic and one should consider owning the timeshare in a Trust or LLC, or holding ownership with another party as joint tenants with rights of survivorship in an effort to avoid an unnecessary probate