The passing of a loved one is a devastating event for a family, and to add to the challenge of this time, family members must begin the task of settling his or her estate. Part of this likely includes going through probate, which is the court-supervised process of settling estate affairs and distributing assets according to the terms of the will. It will be helpful for a Florida family to know what to expect from this process.
Expectations for probate
The probate process can be complex, especially when there are disputes between beneficiaries regarding the terms of the will. A decedent can appoint a person to act as executor of the estate in his or her will, and that individual will oversee the following aspects of probate:
- Filing the appropriate paperwork to open the estate and begin the probate process
- Locating all assets associated with the estate
- Paying off remaining balances, debts and taxes owed by the deceased
- Settling any ongoing disputes
- Distributing assets as outlined in the decedent’s will
It is helpful for an executor to have legal guidance during the probate process in order to minimize the chance of setbacks or costly mistakes.
The interests of the family
A Florida family does not have to navigate the probate process alone. They may find it helpful to seek the guidance and support of an experienced attorney to help protect their interests and respect the wishes of their loved one. It is prudent to be intentional about avoiding issues and complications during probate as this can cost time and money.