After the death of a loved one, relatives and other interested parties are left with the task of settling his or her estate. This includes paying off remaining debts, distributing assets according to the terms of the will and more. A major component of closing a loved one’s Florida estate and moving forward is the probate process. The executor, heirs and beneficiaries may find it helpful to learn about what they can expect from this legal procedure.
An understanding of probate
Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing assets from a person’s will or the administration of an estate left by someone who did not have a will. While the probate process always follows the same general steps, it can be a longer and more complicated process in situations in which there is no will. When there is a will, the executor will file it, along with other necessary paperwork, with the probate court. The person appointed as executor will have the authority to act on behalf of the estate.
When a person dies without a will, he or she is said to have died intestate. In this situation, probate will include the distribution of estate assets according to state laws. The process of closing an estate without a will can be lengthy and complicated, especially if there are disputes between heirs and beneficiaries.
Working with a professional
Estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of income level or the size of the estate. Dying without a will can leave loved ones with complex decisions and other issues they must confront. To create a complete estate plan, it will help to work with an experienced Florida estate law attorney.