Probate is an important part of the distribution of wealth in many estate plans. Through probate, a deceased person’s estate is distributed to heirs, beneficiaries, and any creditors to whom the person owed debt. The process is typically done through the deceased individual’s last will and testament. In the event that the individual did not leave a will, the probate process is carried out using the guidelines for estate distribution in the State of Florida. Being experienced with both Florida law and estate planning processes, the attorneys at the Isbel Law firm can assist you with all probate matters.
What are the Steps of Probate?
All estate plans that require probate have the same general process. The goal of probate is to ensure the estate property is properly distributed among the interested parties.
- Estate Administration: For the probate process to occur, the estate must first have an individual designated to manage the estate. If there is a will, the will normally states who should be the administrator of the estate. This person is known as an executor. If there is not an executor pre-arranged in a will, an individual will be appointed as executor by the court of probate.
- Establishing Validity: If the deceased person has left a will, the will must be established as valid in order for distribution of assets to occur. Florida law determines what is necessary for a will to be valid. Having an estate planning attorney is beneficial in ensuring you meet all the appropriate guidelines for ensuring a will’s validity. This includes having all the appropriate notarization, signatures, and eyewitnesses.
- Inventory: After the initial steps of probate, the deceased person’s estate will need to be inventoried. This includes identifying what funds, assets, or property the estate contains. Most property will not be sold or distributed until the probate process is complete.
- Appraisal: After the estate property has been inventoried, the assets are then sent to a professional for appraisal to determine the assets’ worth.
- Distribution: Finally, in the last step of the probate process, the property within the estate is distributed to the appropriate parties. The distribution will either occur according to the will of the deceased, or the guidelines for the state of Florida.
Our Attorneys Help to Simplify the Probate Process
Not all estate plans are created equally. Your individual probate process may differ depending on whether a last will or testament was established prior to the person’s death. We can assist you in understanding the challenges at hand and what your options are going forward.
Contact a Winter Garden Probate Attorney Today
The Isbel Law Firm is dedicated to assisting families with estate planning issues such as probate administration, wealth counseling, and wills and trusts. For more information on how we can assist you, contact our law firm at 407-877-7115. Alternatively, you may send us a brief message about your situation using our online contact form. We look forward to working with you.