Probate is the process where authority is provided to administer an Estate. If the property needs to be transferred after a person's death, then Probate may be necessary. Probate may be informal with minimal court hearings required. If there are contested issues or complex elements associated with the estate, then formal probate with court hearings a judicial oversightmay be necessary.
Probate may be required when there is a will involved. If the deceased person died without a will, then probate may still be necessary to allow for the administration of the estate.
With probate, there are important deadlines that you must consider. Failure to comply with these deadlines can create issues. Following is information about Florida probate deadlines.
1. Depositing a will with the court
The person who has custody of a deceased person's will must deposit the original will with the court within 10 days of notice of death.
2. Challenging a will
If a person wishes to challenge the validity of a will or the appointment of a Personal Representative, then they must do so within 90 days of receiving notice.
3. Estate inventory
Within 60 days of appointment as a personal representative or administrator, an inventory of the estate assets must be filed.
4. Creditor claims
Persons and entities who have claims against the deceased person or the estate must file their claim within 3 months of publication or within 30 days if they have received a notice. If the publication does not occur or if notice is not provided to the creditor, then a creditor has 2 years to make a claim against the estate.
5. Challenging a creditor claim
If the personal representative receives a claim from a creditor, then the personal representative has 30 days to challenge it. Failure to object to the claim results in the claim being allowed.
6. Surviving spouse claims
If a deceased person was married at the time of death and owned a home, then the surviving spouse has 6 months to either take a life estate in the property or take a 50% interest in the property. In addition, a surviving spouse has 6 months to accept the elective share of a decedent spouse.
7. Exempt property
Some estate property may be exempt from the collection efforts of creditors. The law specifies which property may be exempt and the amount of the applicable exemption. If an exemption is claimed, it must be made within 4 months of notice of administration.
Probate can be complex and there are numerous laws to consider. Probate also requires compliance with certain procedures. To ensure that probate is pursued correctly, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Florida probate litigation. A lawyer can help answer the questions you may have about the estate. An attorney can also help you prepare the necessary documents to begin and complete the process.
An attorney can be especially helpful if there are issues with the estate or if persons are challenging the will or other aspects. By working with an attorney you will help ensure that everything is done correctly. For assistance with probate and for answers to your estate questions, contact us to learn how we can help.
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