Florida Probate Rules You Need To Know

Florida Probate Rules Will

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So, a loved one just passed and you’re feeling an array of emotions from loss to anxiety and everything in between. The last thing in the world that you want to deal with in a situation such as this is finances and Florida probate rules. If you’ve been tasked with closing out the finances of someone you loved that is now deceased, you might sense a tinge of confusion. A startling 2017 survey cited that more than half of today’s Americans aren’t financially prepared for their own demise. So, if they’re not prepared, how could you be expected to prepare? Step one is to take a deep breath and gain a deeper understanding of by reading about the legal jargon in plain English.

At first glance, these Florida probate rules and statutes might come across as intimidating. Even the terms related to legalities can be incredibly formal, making you feel as if an attorney or personal legal representative is required just to go over the paperwork. In reality, that is usually true. The good news is that these regional regulations were put in place to protect you, your family, and the best interests of the recently deceased.

Florida probate rules can be extremely tricky for anyone who has not extensively studied Ch. 731-739 under Title XLII, the Estates and Trusts section of Fl. statutes. This means that even a fine attorney lacking local familiarity could run into unexpected issues regarding probate within the state or region of the recently deceased. On paper, nationwide legal differences come across as small, unimportant issues. However, in real court cases, they could wind up costing you and your family a great deal of time, money and property. For this reason, obtaining a legal advisor who is familiar with local codes of trust and inheritance is of the utmost importance.

You should seek advice if you have been named the personal representative or executor of a recently deceased individual. The same is true if you are the beneficiary of an estate. The final affairs of a decedent are often related to finance at a time when families and loved ones are mourning an emotional loss. As such, gaining a full understanding of regional code could prove difficult and stressful right when you’re in need of simplicity. Here’s an overview of information designed to break down the various facets of these statutes in terms that are easy to read and understand.

What Is Probate?

It is a legal procedure that aids the state in efficiently gathering and distributing the assets and debts of a deceased person. In short, it is a necessary process designed to make sure that various assets and debts end up in the right hands in the event that a decedent didn’t leave a will behind. It might also apply if the will was insufficient and/or out of date or if the decedent’s final will and testament needs to be authenticated.

In any of the aforementioned situations, legal documents and paperwork will be provided.

The Probate Process In Florida

While probate varies across the nation, the steps of the legal process almost always include:

  • Will Authentication– In the event that the recently deceased completed a last will and testament, authenticating the most recent, valid form of the document is the first step.
  • Naming A Personal Representative-Upon completion of step one, the judge will move forward by choosing a personal representative in charge of overseeing the process.
  • Procuring Assets-Next, all assets of the deceased are to be obtained by the administrator, or personal representative mentioned above. This person could alternatively be named executive.
  • Gathering Appraisals-The chosen individual will also become responsible for valuation of gross estates, stocks, and other assets.
  • Sending A Notification Of Death-Under regional law, possible creditors are entitled to receive a notification of the death and are usually given a limit time to stake claims for payment. Refuting such claims is the responsibility of the personal representative.
  • Paying Debts-Once creditors have been given notice of the death, debts are settled with or without the aid of a judge.
  • Filing Tax Returns-The decedent’s last and final tax returns are to be completed as well.
  • Distribution Of Funds And Assets-Once debts and taxes are taken care of, the remaining inheritance is distributed to the rightful beneficiaries under the watchful eyes of judges in the area.

An Overview Of Assets And Florida Probate Rules

Florida Probate Process Scale

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This particular procedure is centered on personal assets that lacked a provision of automatic succession and were solely the property of the deceased. The most common assets in cases like this include:

  • Personal Bank Accounts
  • Personal Retirement Accounts
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Land (with the exclusion of homestead property)

Assets that were the property of the deceased but were located in a different state can sometimes have separate sets of regulations. This is especially true if the decedent resided in different places as different times of the year. For example, if you are about to inherit a loved one’s Miami summer home, these assets might be subject to different rulings and procedures. It should also be duly noted that assets are separate from debts but both are usually the responsibility of the personal representative. If you have been named to oversee the final financial responsibilities of a deceased loved one, a qualified attorney can help you to separate assets from debts.

Formal Administration Probate Florida

The mostly commonly known type of Fl. probate is referred to as formal administration. This is the court supervised collection and distribution in situations where the decedent has passed away within a two year timeframe, leaving behind an estate value of $75,000 or more. Formal administration is detailed in the 733rd chapter of legislation.

Summary Administration: The Statute For Small Estates

If the decedent has been deceased for a timeframe that exceeds two years, or if the decedent left behind an estate value that is under $75,000, but still exceeding funeral costs, this type of process is legally known as a summary administration. Summary administration is fully explained in Chapter 735 of Fl. Statues.

Disposition Of Personal Property Without Administration

Under limited circumstances, administration is not required in the disposition of personal property. This type of proceeding is categorized under Chapter 735.301. Disposition of personal property without administration pertains to the following:

  • Exempt Personal Property- such as household automobiles and certain household furnishings
  • Exempt Personal Property- as it pertains to holdings that fall out of bounds of creditor’s claims
  • Non-exempt Personal Property-that does not exceed funeral expenses or a total of $6,000

Individuals seeking this type of proceeding are still required to file legal documents in order to prove qualification. Once the forms are provided, attorneys might still become necessary.

Understanding Your Rights As A Local Beneficiary

Whether you have been named the personal representative, or you’re a rightful heir, whether your search for the 2017 code on this topic has proven useful or left you with unanswered questions, it is always in your best interest to contact a legal representative regarding these proceedings. There are rights you might be entitled to that you might not fully understand. There are forms that will need to be filed that you might not even be aware of.

A knowledgeable legal aid that is fully versed in local legislation can provide this service. In a real case involving the courts, here are just a few things you and your family might need to understand:

  • The qualifications for different types of filing
  • How to open an estate
  • Petition for administration
  • Identifying assets
  • Obscuring death certificates
  • Valuation of property
  • Litigation
  • Guardianship
  • Rights of surviving spouse
  • Finance
  • Taxation
  • Trust codes
  • Forms
  • Fees and so much more

This is a lot to take in after experiencing the death of a loved one. In general, an attorney in your county who understands probate code can go over the information with you and help you to make sense of everything.

You can speak with one of our live representatives any time of the day or night to ask questions about Florida probate rules. Call today at 877-466-3227.


How Long Does Probate Take? The Surprising Answer To An Age Old Question

how long does probate take

If you recently inherited a property from a deceased family member or friend, you could be feeling a bit overwhelmed for a wide variety of reasons. In addition to grief, loss, and countless personal emotions, there are also many legal aspects that can drain you of time and energy. Among them is the probate process, a lengthy routine of checks and balances overseen by the court administration. Just how long does probate take? In reality, it could take a year or more, depending on the decedent’s will, the estate in question, the number and agreeable attitude of the beneficiaries, any complications regarding assets, and the list goes on.

A particularly long probate process could easily last for the duration of 2017, 2018, and beyond. To add insult to injury, most real estate agents are reluctant to sell or even list property before the entire legal process has come to a close. This can make estate planning next to impossible. Before you dedicate a great deal of time and resources to traveling back and forth to court with your attorney, it’s important that you fully understand what all of your options include. You might be surprised to learn that not everything is a waiting game.

How Long Does Probate Take?

If you’re wondering “how long does probate take?” you should know that the answer to this varies. The average wait times run between six and nine months. If things go smoothly, over the course of that set time frame, an executor will be appointed as per request in the decedent’s will. If things don’t go according to plan, for example, if the recently deceased didn’t leave a will in the first place, then an administrator of the estate is left in charge. This administrator is alternatively referred to as a personal representative. The executor or administrator is tasked with all of the financial affairs regarding the estate. They will weeks, months, or sometimes years making contact with creditors, settling debts, estimating assets, filing taxes, looking into claims and discussing pressing legal issues with beneficiaries and family members. This is a lengthy process but the situations listed below could make it take even longer. You should expect to wait for several additional months if:

  • The decedent passed on without leaving a will- According to USA Today, this is the case for approximately 64% of Americans, of whom 15% claim they don’t have a will because they don’t think they need one.
  • The will failed to name an individual as executor
  • A lawyer is required to continue the estate property pursuit
  • The estates in question are located in a different state than the one the decedent resided in
  • The deceased person lived in more than one state throughout the year
  • The state uncovered multiple conflicting wills
  • There is a dispute amongst lenders regarding debt
  • The number of assets is difficult to determine
  • You and your family cannot afford the fees necessary to gather a probate will
  • Letters of administration are being delayed

Dealing With The Law Can Take Time And Cost Money

Did you ever expect to inherit a property where you already owe money? For some, even death is a business and nothing that was given ever really comes free. Burdening you was probably never your loved one’s intention. They set you up with trusts, assets, and an estate for the opposite reason entirely. Sadly, while dealing with this law takes time, you’re suddenly being held responsible for unexpected taxes, repairs, monthly maintenance fees, and a myriad of other expenses. The stress of these concerns can put grieving family members and loved ones at odds with one another, violating privacy and trust. So then, how long does probate take under stressful circumstances? The months might feel like years, or it could actually take years.

If You Filed For Probate Court Services Or You’re Planning To File, Trust Us—There’s A Faster, Often Better Way To Take On The Crisis

Before you file for probate court services, you should seriously consider posing a few questions to our cash investors. We might help you reach an unexpected conclusion that is profitable for all parties involved. Here at Homecash.com, we’ve spent years building trust by achieving fast, fair cash for probate properties like yours. We value your privacy and we’ve witnessed many different situations. We understand how sensitive the death of a loved one can be and how tragic it might feel to let go of their estate. However, when you take into consideration the amount of time and expenses that go into a probate estate and you add to that the amount of aggravation that goes along with scouting for a real estate agent, the never ending cycle of court rooms and bank loans can easily turn your paradise into a prison. Lots of beneficiaries of inherited houses opt to take their business to a cash investor.

Ask Us Some Questions From The Privacy Of Your Own Home

Consulting with a cash investor carries absolutely zero risks. Our privacy policy is designed to protect your rights and unlike real estate agents and hedge fund operators, we never lock our clients into time-consuming contracts. We’re not interested in selling your property. We’re interested in buying your property and getting the money to you. All of this can happen at a fraction of the price and amount of time you will spend waiting on the legal system.

If you scroll through our blog, you’re likely to notice a lot of stories that sound just like yours, stories where families find themselves paying a tax on a property they can’t get out of probate and the financial and emotional strain that followed. We are a small office of friendly investors hoping to get you a lump sum as quickly and efficiently as possible. No attorney fees. No commissions. No waiting around for two or three more years. We pride ourselves on helping the living to overcome the death of their loved ones by giving them access to faster settlements.

You can access more information by browsing through our site or you can access a service rep directly by phone 24 hours a day. Learn more about the terms of probate and the rights of heirs.

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