How to File Probate in Florida
Probate is the process by which the court identifies the assets, pays any taxes and debts and distributes property to the descendants of a person who dies without a valid will.
5 Steps to File Probate in Florida
1. Locate the will
If there is a will, it should be located before beginning the probate process.
2. File the will and the request for probate with the clerk of the court
In order to begin the probate process, you must file the will, if there is one, with the clerk of court in your jurisdiction. You will also be required to fill out forms indicating that the subject of the will has died and provide the information for interested parties.
3. Pay a filing fee
Most jurisdictions require a filing fee to begin the probate process. This is usually a nominal fee payable to the clerk of court. You can determine how much this fee is and to whom it must be paid by contacting the court in your jurisdiction.
4. Determine the representative of the estate
This is sometimes known as an executor. The will may identify someone to serve in this capacity, or the court will appoint someone. The representative’s job is to gather and protect the assets of the estate until the debts are dealt with and the property can be distributed according to the will or the court’s order.
5. Await a court order
There may be a hearing held on the matter, or it may be ruled upon without any court appearances. Once the judge rules on the matter, the assets can be distributed according to the will and the judge’s decisions regarding debtors.
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