In Florida and elsewhere, after a person dies, his or her property will need to be passed on to his or her loved ones or any other beneficiaries. This is often done through estate administration. While not all estates will require an extensive probate process, some cases can take time, especially if there is not a will, if the process is contested or if the estate is quite sizable or complex.
The probate process is something that is court-supervised. During probate, there are very specific things that will take place. These include collecting property, paying debts, settling disputes and distributing or transferring property to the appropriate beneficiary. When it comes to paying debts, creditors will be given a set period of time to collect, which can make the probate process seem to take longer than what is originally expected.
When creating an estate plan, a person is generally selected to be the estate's executor. This individual will be responsible for taking care of one's final affairs. If no one is named to this position, then the court will decide who to name as a representative for the estate.
There are fees associated with probate. This is one of the reasons many people do what they can to avoid it. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Legal assistance is available to Florida resident who need help planning their estates or handling estate administration duties. With sufficient planning, probate may be avoided; however, if probate is necessary, further assistance may be provided to beneficiaries when the time comes to administer the estate.
Source: FindLaw, "The Probate Basics", Accessed on Dec. 10, 2015