FAQs About Wills And Probate
For most people, the concepts of estate planning, wills and the probate process can be extremely complicated. In fact, many people avoid establishing their estate plans because they feel confused and anxious about the process.
At Korshak & Associates, P.A., our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience with these matters. Representing clients throughout the Orlando and Casselberry areas of Florida, we understand the confusion you may be experiencing when it comes to wills and probate.
We have compiled some frequently asked questions about wills and probate administration. Please read through these to get an initial understanding, and then contact us to discuss your legal matter. Call 888-681-4389 to schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
FAQs About Wills And Probate
What is a will?
A standard will is the foundational document to a sound estate plan. In your will, you can explain how you want your assets transferred and name a personal representative to handle your estate as it goes through the probate process.
Should I work with an attorney to create my will?
Yes. While it is not legally required to work with a lawyer while creating a will in Florida, it is certainly a good idea. There are many legal complications and potential pitfalls that could cause you problems down the road. An online do-it-yourself form is no substitute for the counsel of an experienced lawyer who can help you craft an effective will as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
What is probate in Florida?
Probate is the process by which an estate is administered. In Florida, when someone dies with certain types of assets, those assets go through probate. The court oversees the probate process, which involves distributing certain assets of a deceased person to the appropriate parties.
What is the probate process?
In Florida, there are different potential processes for probate. The two most common are: formal administration and summary administration. Formal administration is, as the name suggests, the more formal of the two processes. In formal administration, a personal representative is named and given letters of administration, and that person distributes the assets appropriately.
Generally, summary administration occurs when nonexempt assets are less than $75,000 or at least two years have passed since death. This is a much quicker and simpler process than formal administration. Summary administration can also include disposition without administration for extremely small estates.
Talk with an experienced attorney to learn more.
What if I have been named a personal representative?
If you have been named a personal representative, you will be responsible for gathering the estate’s assets and paying the estate’s creditors and the decedent’s beneficiaries. You should seek the assistance of counsel to make sure these tasks are done correctly.
Can I go through the probate process myself?
Generally, no. Other than a few clearly defined exceptions, legal representation from a licensed probate attorney is required in the process. Even in the cases in which a lawyer is not required, it is a good idea to work with a lawyer who can protect your interests and help you through the process.
- What happens if the will is lost?
- Who can be appointed personal representative?
- What am I entitled to as a surviving spouse?