When a person passes away in Boca Raton, Florida without having created a valid estate plan, the division of their estate will oftentimes be handled in probate court. Simply put, probate is a legal process that commences after a person passes away.
This process involves:
- proving the validity of a person’s will
- categorizing and appraising the deceased’s property
- settling any debts of the decedent
- Distributing property in compliance with either a person’s will or state law if no will is present.
There are several steps involved in this process. First, a previously named executor or an interested party applies to become a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. If approved, this person will be issued Letters of Administration and will be given the authorization to settle the estate. If the deceased person had created a will, it must be submitted to the court to be examined. If a person created their will with witnesses present, with notarized statements signed by these witnesses, the person’s will can be considered “self-proving” and does not require court examination.
Once a will has been submitted, the representative will gather and inventory a person’s assets, pay any debts or taxes that may be outstanding, and eventually oversees the distribution of property and assets to the rightful beneficiaries. Once this has been completed, an official report containing all information regarding the handling of the deceased person’s estate must be submitted to the court. At this stage, anyone with an objection can voice their opinion in court.
Contact a Boca Raton Elder Law Attorney
This route is notorious for being lengthy, costly, and complex, with stacks of paperwork and various court appearances required. For this reason, it is crucial that you create a thorough estate plan to spare your family of the trouble of having to deal with probate. At Samuels Wood PLLC, our firm’s skilled Boca Raton elder lawyers can walk you through the process of creating wills and trusts to ensure that your estate is transferred smoothly to your loved ones without any unnecessary legal hiccups.
To get started, contact our firm online or call us at (561) 623-3314 today!