FAQ About Probate Administration in Florida

lawyer showing what to signThe Blackburn Law Firm, PLLC regularly handles questions associated with Florida probate administration, like these:

What’s Florida Probate Administration?

Florida Probate Administration involves a court-supervised procedure for resolving the financial affairs of the decedent.

Is Probate Administration Necessary?

The answer is no, not always. For a lot of decedents, there isn’t any need to open a probate estate.

One common reason that probate isn’t needed is that when the decedent died, they did not have assets in their own name. If the decedent’s bank accounts, real property and other types of assets are jointly held with an additional person, probate might not be needed.  If the decedent’s bank accounts, real property, retirement accounts, and other types of assets have beneficiaries, probate might not be needed.

It doesn’t matter if a decedent was well off financially or if they had a will in determining whether probate is necessary.

Who Actually Controls the Assets of the Decedent?

Ultimately, the probate court has control of the estate. It appoints an executor (Personal Representative) who handles the daily duties of the estate. The executor is bound to follow Florida law and the court’s orders.

One responsibility of the executor includes identifying all the assets of the decedent. It usually requires engagement with a decedent’s banks, family and other types of resources.

The executor opens a bank account in the probate estate’s name, places all personal possessions in storage, and takes additional measures to take charge of the assets of the decedent.

The Personal Representative, of course, has to account to the court and heirs for the work performed by the executor.

What if a Decedent Had Outstanding Debt?

A part of the probate administration procedure involves identifying the decedent’s creditors and making arrangements to pay their debts.

If the decedent’s assets are sufficient, the process typically won’t present any issues. If their assets aren’t sufficient to pay all the debt, the law offers a system of priorities that decide who will get paid and exactly how much.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Usually, the law requires an executor to be represented by an attorney. However, there are some limited exceptions to that rule.

If you would like to speak with a probate attorney contact Blackburn Law Firm, PLLC today at 727-826-0923.

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