Probate is the process of administering an estate or will. It can be very confusing if you are unaware of the probate process. Fortunately, Florida courts break down the probate process into several steps.
Knowing these steps can help you understand what happens during probate.
Filing a petition
The first step is to file a petition. The courts call this a Petition for Administration. This petition contains various documents that support it. It will also have a copy of the decedent’s Last Will and Testimate.
Receiving the Letter of Administration
The Letter of Administration is a document the court prepares if your evidence is in order. This letter names a personal representative for the estate. It also gives the personal representative the legal rights necessary to distribute the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries.
Before your personal representative can distribute the estate’s assets, they must notify all potential creditors that the estate is in probate. Florida law is very strict about how and when to notify creditors so they can respond promptly.
Paying any claims
There is a deadline for creditors to claim any assets. If they miss this deadline, their claim is invalid.
Filing an accounting
If you are the personal representative, you must present the courts with a full accounting of everything left in the estate.
Distributing the assets
When the courts approve the accounting, it is time to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. Once done, you must close the estate by petitioning the court to release you from your obligations.
Probate can take a while, so knowing the steps is a helpful way to make sure things go smoothly.