Probate is something you may not think about at all, but it can drastically affect how your family receives and manages your assets after you die. Preparing in advance for asset management is an essential way to avoid the probate process and keep control over your asset distribution.
Each state has different laws regarding the probate process. If you are a Florida resident, here are three things you should know about the laws regarding probate in your state:
1. Florida is not a community property state
Many people are aware of the term “community property” when it comes to divorce law, but the legal concept applies in probate as well. There are several states with community property laws, but Florida is not one of them. In a state with community property, if you are married and do not have children, the court will award your assets to your spouse. But in Florida, the courts use estate inheritance laws to determine how to distribute your assets.
2. Formal administration and summary administration
In our state, the probate process falls under two processes: formal administration and summary administration. In the former, the court names a formal representative to administer the estate; the latter case applies at least two years after the death where non-exempt assets total less than $75,000.
3. Creditor claims against an estate
One way a probate attorney assists clients in the probate process is when a creditor makes claims against the deceased’s estate. In Florida, creditors must make a claim within a specific timeframe that the law indicates. If the creditor does not respect this timeframe, the claim may not be valid.
Florida probate law is complex, and the probate process can be fraught with difficulties. One way to avoid probate is to set up a comprehensive estate plan well in advance of your later years in life.