Florida residents who are planning to leave an estate must follow the state’s guidelines on probate planning and estate planning so that their beneficiaries do not have to endure an estate dispute. Probate is a legal process in which the courts identify the decedent’s assets, pay the cost of the probate action, pay off his or her debts and distribute any remaining assets to his or her designated beneficiaries. The formal process of estate administration ensures that the probate of wills follows the state’s legal requirements.
When preparing an estate, the courts must take into account all of the decedent’s assets. The probate of wills may include assets such as bank or investment accounts, real estate and life insurance policies held in the sole name of the deceased. The probate process is only concerned with these assets because jointly held assets or assets with a designated beneficiary automatically pass on to the designee. Complex estate administration is handled by the Florida court as an impartial entity with no bias.
Probate is a necessary process to ensure that assets are properly transferred to legal beneficiaries. If a person dies without a will in place, filing documents and estate administration is undertaken by the probate court. When a person dies without having settled his or her finances, the court must probate an estate to ensure all creditors are paid off in accordance with the law. Probate may also be used to settle an estate dispute.
Anyone who has assets wherein he or she is the sole holder of the account should consider getting assistance with complex estate administration. Designation of beneficiaries before a person dies helps to reduce the risk of an estate dispute or the need for a trust modification.