The consequences of not filing a will for probate

If you are in the possession of a deceased person's will, it may be because you intend to serve as the executor of the estate. While you are not required to serve as the executor, you do have the duty to file the will in court to begin the probate process.

Failing to file the will to the court could lead to serious consequences. If you have been named as the executor of an estate, you should take the time to understand the implications of avoiding filing a will for probate.

What are the deadlines for submitting a deceased person's accounting documents?

In Florida, if an estate does not have to file a federal estate tax return, the executor must submit final accounting documents and other necessary documents within 12 months of the decadent's death. If it is necessary, this period can be extended.

If the estate is required to submit a federal estate tax return, this must be submitted within nine months of the date of the decedent's death according to Florida law. It is possible to extend this deadline by six months.

What happens if I ignore the deadline as the executor of the estate and fail to submit?

Failing to submit the appropriate documents within the designated timelines can lead heirs to suffer financial damages. This is why failing to submit the documents can lead to such serious consequences. Failing to perform your duties as the executor of the estate can lead to those who have suffered financial damages to file a lawsuit against you.

What can I do if a will does not require probate?

If it is not necessary to open probate because the deceased person left nothing of value, or if all assets were held in trusts or joint accounts, you still have the responsibility to file the will. There is a significant difference between filing a will and opening probate, therefore filing a will is always necessary.

If you have been named as the executor of an estate and you are unsure of whether you have fulfilled your duties, you must take the time to understand Florida law. By doing so, you will be able to avoid becoming involved in lawsuits made against you.

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