Probate Attorney Altamonte Springs, FL


I often get questions about probate, the procedure and the purpose.

The purpose of probate is to, upon the death of a person, gather the assets, pay the legitimate bills of the deceased, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries may be a beneficiary by law if the person has no will or a beneficiary by will, being the person designated in the will to receive certain assets or a percentage.

What you need to know about probate

  1. Probate is a process of gathering the assets of the deceased, wills, paying the debts of the deceased, and properly distributing the remaining monies and assets to the beneficiaries of the deceased. It is accomplished within one year per statute.
  2. Why is probate necessary? Probate is often necessary as there is no other way to transfer the assets of the deceased to the beneficiaries without a court order. If a person dies and has a stock brokerage account just in their name, there is no procedure by which you can transfer that brokerage account to the beneficiaries of the deceased, unless there is a beneficiary designation in the account. Other assets such as vehicles, houses titled to individuals or a rental property, cannot be transferred without going through probate and obtaining a court order.
  3. What is the probate process? The probate process involves the attorney for the estate filing certain paperwork with the court, having one individual appointed as personal representative of the estate and preparing and filing various documents and obtaining various orders from the estate that allows the assets of the deceased to be probated. The attorney handles almost all of this, although much of the legwork with respect to assets is accomplished by the personal representative. The process takes anywhere from 6-9 months usually and the cost is usually set by statute at 3% of the assets. Depending upon the issues involved in probating the estate, some estates are more complex and the costs may be slightly higher. All fees are discussed in advance.
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