Getting ready for Florida probate can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the legal process and the documents involved.
Probate can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful; however, there are some steps you can take before the probate process begins to make it easier and smoother.
Find the Will and Other Important Documents
To get ready for probate, the first step is to locate the will of the deceased person, if they had one.
This step is critical because the will contains the wishes of the deceased person regarding how they want their property to be distributed after their death. The will also names an executor, who is the person responsible for carrying out the probate process and managing the estate.
If you are the executor or a potential beneficiary of the will, you should find it as soon as possible and file it with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. You may also need to provide a death certificate and other documents that prove your identity and relationship to the deceased person.
If there is no will, or if you cannot find it, then the estate will be distributed according to Florida’s laws of intestacy, which may not reflect the wishes of the deceased person.
Gather Information about the Estate
The next step is to gather information about the estate of the deceased person. This includes identifying and making an inventory of all their assets and liabilities.
You should also collect any documents that contain information about these assets and liabilities, such as deeds, titles, contracts, statements, bills, receipts, and tax returns.
Some assets may not need to go through probate if they have a named beneficiary or are jointly owned with someone else. These assets include:
- Life insurance proceeds,
- Retirement accounts,
- Payable-on-death accounts,
- Transfer-on-death deeds, and
- Joint tenancy property.
These assets will pass directly to the beneficiary or co-owner without court intervention. However, you should still include them in your inventory for tax purposes and to avoid any disputes or confusion.
Seek Professional Help
The most vital step you can take when getting ready for Florida probate is to seek professional help.
Probate can be a complex and challenging process that requires legal knowledge and skills. That is why it is vital to hire an attorney who specializes in probate law to guide you through the process and represent your interests.
An attorney can help you with filing documents, meeting deadlines, resolving disputes, paying taxes, distributing assets, and closing the estate, among many other things.
You may also want to consult other professionals who can assist you with specific aspects of the estate administration, such as accountants, appraisers, financial advisors, realtors, or tax preparers. These professionals can help value assets, prepare tax returns, sell property, invest funds, and manage debts.
Getting Ready for Florida Probate is Easy When You Work with Experts
If you are looking for reliable and experienced probate attorneys in Florida, look no further than Jurado & Associates, P.A.
We understand that losing a loved one is hard enough without having to deal with legal issues. That is why we are committed to making your probate experience as easy and stress-free as possible. We will handle all aspects of your case with care and compassion while protecting your rights and interests.
We will explain the probate process to you in simple terms, answer all your questions, keep you informed of every step, and work diligently to resolve any problems that may arise.
If you are ready to start the probate process or have any questions about it, please contact us today. You can reach us by phone at (305) 921-0976, by email at [email protected], or by WhatsApp at +1 (305) 921-0976.