A probate is the act and legal process of transferring property on to someone else after a person dies. Often, people solidify their intentions in the form of a will or trust before they die, to avoid any complications of who the property should go to.
It adds confusion to sorrow, but some deaths occur before someone had a chance to make an official will. An unplanned death can create a lot of questions for relatives, friends, caregivers and colleagues on how a deceased person's property and possessions are distributed.
Probate is an important process to ensure that a person's assets are properly distributed upon his or her death. For probate purposes under Florida law, that person is called the "decedent," or deceased person.
Spend any amount of time researching estate planning, and you're bound to come across the term probate. It's an important consideration in preparing for the future and organizing your affairs. For many people, it's a key factor in strategizing an estate plan.
In previous posts, we took a brief look at some of the pitfalls folks sometimes fall into with will in their estate planning efforts. As we noted last time, one of these pitfalls is simply assuming that having a will can prevent family fighting after one’s death. While having a will certainly can help prevent disputes, this requires careful planning, proper drafting, and additional legwork to help ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Last time, we began to discuss the topic of probate avoidance, and some of the means that can be used to avoid probate when doing so may be desirable. On that point, it is important to note that probate isn’t necessarily always completely undesirable. For many individuals and families, the likely costs, time and relative lack of privacy of probate are not always significant enough to justify the planning and alternative costs of building an estate plan around avoiding the process.
One of the first terms people come across when beginning the process of estate planning is probate. The term refers to the court-supervised process of wrapping up the estate of a deceased individual. The probate process involves determining the validity of the deceased individual's will, appointing or recognizing a personal representative to manage administration of the estate, and distribution of the deceased person's assets to heirs.
Previously, we began looking at the topic of children born after the execution of a will and state law regarding their entitlement to a portion of the deceased parent’s estate. As we noted, such children are entitled to the portion of the state they would have taken if there had been no will, provided certain conditions are met.
Nobody wants their family members to squabble over inheritances after they're gone. No one wants to leave a legacy of heated battles. One of the main goals of estate planning is to prevent such disputes from happening.
Occasionally after a loved one dies, family members in Florida may question the validity of a will, especially if its provisions seem unusual or unexpected. There are a number of reasons why a will may be invalid, but they are difficult to prove. A person wishing to dispute someone's will must be prepared to present the court with evidence during probate litigation.