The probate process can be time-consuming and difficult. It makes sense to begin as soon as possible to bring the process to a quicker conclusion.
Hopefully, the deceased person followed legal advice and left a will. That document will name someone as a personal representative. This person has been chosen to administer the estate. One of the first duties that they will perform is filing the will with the court and the necessary application to begin the probate process.
If the deceased person did not leave a will, the estate would still need to go through probate, although things will be far more complicated. Here, there is no personal representative to begin the probate process. An interested party would need to start the process by asking the court to name a personal representative. Florida’s intestate law would dictate who is named as the personal administrator, although the family may contest the appointment.
The important thing for you as part of your estate planning is to make sure that there is either a will or a trust in place. If you have a trust, your family can avoid probate altogether. When the will is easily located, the personal representative can easily gather the necessary paperwork and begin the process. Although probate is never easy, the more work that you do in the estate planning process, the more you can reduce your family’s burden. Of course, the personal representative should consider hiring a probate attorney to handle the details of the process.
The attorneys at Naples & Spence provide full service at all points of the estate planning and probate process. To learn how we can help your family, contact us online or give us a call at 904.657.7117.