Understanding the process of how property will be distributed after death can assist one's decisions about planning. If one chooses a living trust, the successor trustee will receive the titles to property. If a will has been created, it is likely that the executor will handle estate and probate administration. In Florida, people may be wondering more about probate and how it affects the administration of an estate.
What is probate, exactly? Probate is a court process that is overseen by a judge. The executor, if there was a will -- or the interested person, if no will was written -- will file the petition to become the administrator of the estate.
Once the petition has been filed in the local newspaper, the creditors will be able to step forward and make any claims against the estate for debts owed. When the debts are paid, the administrator will then be able to distribute the assets that remain, according to the will or to the laws of the state. A relatively smooth probate process can be expected to last anywhere from 18-24 months.
The length of floridaelderlaw.net/Probate-Estate-Ancillary-Administrations/">probate administration has made the living trust popular with some, as it can avoid the lengthy turnaround time, public announcements and judges. Instead of probate, simple transfer documents are filed. In Florida, there are pros and cons to each type of estate structure. A person beginning the process of estate planning may choose to consult an experienced lawyer for more in-depth advice on the specific individual's circumstances.
Source: pasadenajournal.com, "Probate - An Overview", Marlene S Cooper, Dec. 6, 2017