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Some Frequently Asked Questions About Probate in Florida

At GC Law, we welcome the opportunity to consult with family members and personal representatives (executors) about probate. The questions below are typical of our clients’ concerns. We hope to hear from you if you are wondering about these or related topics.

What is probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying, gathering, and distributing the assets of a deceased person. Two types of probate administration under Florida law are formal administration – traditional probate – and summary administration – an abbreviated form of probate for small estates. Let an experienced lawyer clarify which type is appropriate for determining the distribution of the deceased person’s assets that you have an interest in as a beneficiary or personal representative (executor).

Is probate necessary if there is a will?

Normally, yes. Also, probate may be necessary even if there is no will, resulting in an intestate situation.

What if assets are all in a trust? Is probate still necessary?

Maybe not. However, it is very common for additional assets to come into the estate even when there is a trust. Examples of these are wrongful death case proceeds and final income tax refunds. Ask an attorney to help you sort out the circumstances for which you may or may not need to take an estate through probate.

If my family member died in Florida and I am the personal representative (executor), but live far away, do I need to visit Florida to complete the probate process?

Maybe not. If the disposition of the estate is uncontested, a local probate lawyer may be able to help you accomplish most or all of the legal work through phone calls, mail and electronic forms of communication.

When is it time to start the probate process?

Individual circumstances greatly. An exploratory conversation with an attorney is the best way to get clarity about timing. A lawyer can advise you as to which assets are or are not subject to collection from creditors – and how the timing of your probate actions may affect the exposure of assets to such collections.

Get Answers To Your Own Questions About Estates And Probate

An initial consultation with a probate law attorney is a sound investment. Get to know a lawyer in person or by phone or videoconference to determine whether you have a good rapport with them. We hope to hear from you to let you know how we can help you at GC Law in Fort Pierce.

Call 772-710-4243 or send an email inquiry for a quick response.

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