Probate in Florida

Welcome to Hogan & Hogan, your trusted source of information and guidance on the process of probate in the state of Florida. If you have any questions about probate, please contact us to learn how we can help you.

Understanding Probate

Probate is a legal process through which the court validates the last will and testament of a deceased individual, ensuring its authenticity and overseeing the distribution of assets and settlement of debts. The process is designed to protect the rights of beneficiaries and creditors while ensuring the decedent’s wishes are honored.

The Importance of Probate

Probate plays a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and interests of all parties involved. It provides transparency, oversight, and a legal framework for the distribution of assets, ensuring that the decedent’s intentions are carried out properly and that debts and taxes are settled appropriately.

The General Probate Process in Florida May Include:

  1. Filing of the will. First, we submit the will to the deceased’s local court. In Florida, we generally have to do this within ten days of the person’s death. The court will then confirm that the will is valid.
  2. File for probate. Once the court validates the will, we file a petition (or request) to start the probate process. 
  3. Receive authorization from the court. If the petition for probate is approved, the county court will grant us permission to administer the estate.
  4. Contact beneficiaries. Next, we inform the deceased’s beneficiaries that the probate process has started. Beneficiaries are the people and organizations named in the will to receive estate assets. If the deceased didn’t list any beneficiaries in their will, state law will determine who inherits these assets.  
  5. Inventory of assets. In Florida, we have 60 days to make a list of all of the deceased’s assets (and their value) and submit this information to the court. We have to determine the value of each asset and also identify any debts, bills, or taxes that need to be paid. 
  6. Pay debts. We use funds from the estate to pay all debts, bills, and taxes. All of the estate’s debts must be paid before any assets can be paid out to beneficiaries.
  7. Request approval to distribute assets. After assets are inventoried and debts are paid, we ask the court for permission to distribute remaining assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries. When approved, we’ll distribute all remaining assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries according to their will. 

Close the estate. Once these steps are complete, we’ll petition the court to close out the estate. This ends the probate process.

On average, it takes six to nine months to complete formal administration in Florida. For larger or more complex estates, this process can take a year or more. 

How Our Attorneys Can Assist You

At Hogan & Hogan, our skilled probate attorneys are dedicated to guiding you through the probate process:

  • Executor Assistance: We help executors understand their responsibilities and navigate the legal requirements.
  • Probate Administration: Our attorneys can efficiently handle the legal and administrative tasks involved in probate.
  • Dispute Resolution: If disputes arise among beneficiaries or creditors, we provide skilled legal representation.
  • Asset Protection: We can advise on strategies to protect assets.
  • Legal Guidance: Our team offers knowledgeable guidance at every stage of the probate process.

Contact Us for Expert Probate Guidance

If you are facing the probate process in Florida, Hogan & Hogan is here to help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced probate attorneys. We are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal guidance as you navigate the complexities of probate and work towards honoring your loved one’s legacy.