Most people think that if somebody dies with a will, getting their inheritance will be fairly simple and easy. However, if a person dies in Florida with or without a valid will, the estate still may be required to go through probate depending upon how particular assets are titled.
Probate is the court-supervised method by which the will is validated, heirs are determined, debts are paid and assets are distributed. If no will exists – also known as dying “intestate” – probate is necessary for a judge to determine who will receive the deceased person’s assets under Florida Law unless they are titled in a probate avoidance format.
While Florida law clearly states that a surviving spouse with no children will be the sole beneficiary if no will exists, things can get very complicated after that. Even if there is a will, the court still needs to ensure that the will is valid and that there is no conflict between the will and Florida law, especially when homestead property is involved.
Either way, you will need the assistance of a skilled attorney to help navigate this process since the State of Florida does not allow do-it-yourself probate.
When you are already grieving the death of a family member, the complicated demands of the Florida probate process can be overwhelming. This is why the easiest course of action for your family is to consult with a probate attorney, who can help you navigate this process so you don’t have to go it alone.
The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L., provides attorney services ranging from estate planning for young families to advanced and crisis long-term care for seniors. Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.