Formal Probate in Florida is a judicial process to transfer assets after a death to the heirs of the estate. The circuit court will appoint a personal representative and issue legal authority to administer the estate. As part of the process, bill collectors and creditors are allowed an opportunity to come forward and collect the debt from the estate. An experienced probate attorney may be able to help minimize the amount of the estate debt.
Probate may be necessary if assets are held in the deceased persons name alone at the time of death. The probate process can be expensive with attorneys fees, court costs and administrative costs. Many attorneys bill hourly, or charge a percentage of the estate for probate cases. However, I always charge a reasonable flat fee and offer flexible payment plans.
Florida probate is not always necessary, and it may be avoided in many cases. With just a few simple steps, many people could set the proper estate planning tools in place in order to do just that.
In any event, please don’t hesitate to contact my firm if you find yourself needing to probate an estate, or if you want to discuss how to establish a plan that will allow you to avoid probate all together.