Commonly Asked Questions About Probate

Can I skip the probate process even if the decedent doesn’t have a trust?

  • No. Probate is always necessary in Florida. Even if the decedent has a Will, the estate will still need to go through the probate court in order to be distributed.
  • If the estate is under $75,000, there is a less formal, administrative probate process. However, if the estate is over $75,000, the estate must complete a more formal, court-ordered probate.

Do I need an attorney to go through probate?

  • Yes. Florida Probate Rule 5.030 requires that a personal representative be represented by an attorney unless he or she is the sole interested party of the estate.

Do I need to go through probate if the decedent had a will?

  • Yes. Probate is necessary regardless of whether there is a Will or not.

How can a Will be contested?

  • A Will can be contested in many ways. Objections to Wills can be based upon lack of mental capacity, forced or undue influence, forgery, improper signatures, witnesses, or even the structure of the Will.

What will you do for me?

The probate process requires a combination of legal and administrative work. There are countless facts that must be verified, papers to file, and documents to sign. These include:

  • Filing the deceased person’s will in court.
  • Notifying heirs, creditors, and the public that you are dead.
  • Identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property.
  • Having the property appraised.
  • Paying off all debts, including estate taxes, if any.
  • Having the will “proved” valid in court.
  • Distribute your estate.
  • Any and all necessary court filings and appearances in between.

Will I have to go to court myself?

  • No, as your legal representative, we will appear on your behalf.

For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation. It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?

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