In today’s blog post on basic questions about estate planning, we are going to focus our attention on probate in Florida and what it means for the average person. Like many people, you probably have heard of probate, and perhaps know little about it, but don’t feel as if you truly understand how it works, what it does, or what it means to you. To help you get a better understanding of probate in Florida, let’s take a look at some basic questions that will shed light on the subject.
What is probate in Florida?
Like every other state, Florida has adopted a collection of laws that apply to the property and interests people leave behind after they die. These laws are known as probate laws, or sometimes as the probate code. The process these laws establish is generally referred to as probate, and is the legal process that follows after death.
Also as with all other states, probate in Florida is not a single process, but a collection of different processes that can apply depending on the circumstances.
For example, when someone dies in the state of Florida, someone will have to go to a Florida probate court and ask the court to open a new case. Depending on the circumstances present, there is more than one type of procedure that can apply to this type of situation.
How does probate in Florida work?
Let’s say that, as in the example outlined above, someone has asked a Florida probate court to open a new case because a relative has recently died. Once this happens, the court will have to appoint someone to manage the case. This person is known as the executor, personal representative, or estate administrator. It falls to the administrator to perform most of the probate duties, while the courts will perform a supervisory role to make sure that the relevant probate laws, procedures, and rules are being followed. Depending on the type of probate case, these procedures and rules can be very strict, or more lenient.
What can I do about probate in Florida?
One of the best advantages available to the people who create an estate plan is that they can create tools that will greatly minimize, and in some cases completely eliminate, the necessity of probate.
In other words, if you take the time to create a comprehensive estate plan, you can get around most of the probate rules and requirements that Florida law imposes.
Of course, depending on your circumstances, probate might not be something you need to worry about very much. However, this is the determination you can only make after speaking to an experienced estate planning lawyer.