One of the more complex aspects of managing an estate in Florida is the probate court process. Some assets that belong to a deceased person have to go through probate court, but not all, and sorting out which is which is important for properly transferring those assets.
Probate and Assets
The probate court system exists to authenticate wills and to ensure that the assets are legally handed off to the right recipients. Most assets are subject to probate unless the deceased person had placed them in special trusts as part of their estate planning, and even that is not always possible. It is generally easier to list the assets that are not automatically subject to probate because it is smaller than the list of those that are.
The assets not subject to the process of probate are money from life insurance payouts, retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, some bank accounts with special rules, and a few types of shared real estate. Other assets must go through probate so the judge can legally sign off on the transfer of ownership from the deceased to the new person. This takes some time, but it is generally not complex, so if the estate is not too big, a person should be able to handle doing this without having to use many hours with a lawyer to get it sorted out.
Probate is a necessary part of the estate process and plays a key role in making sure the deceased wishes are followed. It is designed to be accessible and easy to understand for the layperson who might be executing a family member’s last will upon death.