Probate Process in Miami
Assisting You through Probate in Miami-Dade County
Probate is a court-supervised process where the decedent's assets are
identified and used to pay off the decedent's outstanding debts, and
remaining assets are distributed to the decedent's beneficiaries.
In Florida there are two types of
probate administration: formal administration and
summary administration, with summary administration being the simpler form of the two.
Probate only applies to probate assets, which are assets that the decedent
owned in his or her sole name at the time of death, or that were owned
by the decedent along with one or more co-owners and did not have the
provision for automatic succession upon the owner's death. Such assets
- bank accounts
- investment accounts
- life insurance policies payable to the decedent's estate
- real estate titled in the sole name of the decedent
Probate is an important step in order to pass ownership of the decedent's
probate assets to his or her beneficiaries. If the decedent left a will,
it will be ineffective and cannot pass ownership until the will has passed
through the probate court. If the decedent died without a
will, then probate will be necessary to distribute the decedent's assets
in the order specified under Florida law.
What Are the Responsibilities of the Personal Reperesentative?
The personal representative has many duties, including identifying and
gathering the decedent's assets, publishing a "Notice to Creditors"
in a local newspaper, paying valid claims, filing tax returns, and distributing
assets to the beneficiaries. If the personal representative mismanages
the probate estate in any way, he or she may be held liable to the beneficiaries
for any harm they may have suffered.
Typically the judge will appoint the person or institution named in the
will to be the personal representative; however, if there was no will,
then a surviving spouse may be elected to serve or someone that the heirs
believe would act in their best interests. One can reasonably expect that
a probate proceeding will take around 5 to 6 months to complete.
Contact a Coral Gables Probate Lawyer Today
For those who are unfamiliar with probate, the process can be highly overwhelming,
complex, and time-consuming. If you have been named the personal representative
of an estate, it's important that you contact a Miami probate attorney
to effectively handle any legal issues that arise.
With 30 years of experience, I can provide you with the information, answers
and guidance you need to successfully administer a probated estate.
Contact me today!