There are many people in Florida and elsewhere that cringe at the word probate. There are a lot of misconceptions about probate litigation. The simple truth is that it can actually be a good thing, and it can help resolve any issues that may arise with the administration of an estate.
Probate may be required if there are questions regarding how an estate is set to be distributed or if a will or estate plan has not been created. During probate, creditors may file to settle any debts owed, and family members or other beneficiaries may choose to contest wills or estate plans. Once probate has been completed, an executor or personal representative will be required to distribute assets with court supervision.
There are certain legal steps that can be taken to help avoid probate. However, there are some things that may be required to pass through probate proceedings regardless of how an estate is planned. Probate can take time, and it requires that the executor first file to open a case and provide a list of assets. Once all the required information is entered in court, creditor claims may be settled, family or beneficiary issues addressed and then assets may be distributed.
Probation litigation can be quick, but it can also be long and drawn out. Every situation will be different. Those in Florida can seek the assistance of estate planning attorneys when creating their final estates. Doing so can help prevent any legal issues in the future and can ensure beneficiaries receive the distribution of assets intended. Assistance may also be provided to an estate's executor if probate is necessary.
Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Probate Demystified", David H. Lenok, Sept. 28, 2015