As a top FL probate attorney firm, Weidner Law has plenty of experience in every aspect of the probate process. Today, we’re going to focus on your probate court FAQ’s and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about going through the probate court process.
FL Probate Attorney Answers Your Probate Court Questions
Q: What is the Point of the Probate Court Process?
A: The probate court process is a court-supervised process where the assets of someone who has deceased are identified. These assets are then gathered, the debts of the deceased are paid, and the assets of the deceased are then distributed among the beneficiaries of the deceased based upon a last will and testament.
Q: How Long Does the Probate Process Take?
A: Although this is a question commonly asked of every FL probate attorney, it is one that doesn’t have a definitive answer. The average probate process in Florida takes 6 months, but this is not always the case as external factors can influence the efficiency of the process.
Q: How Are Probate Processes Started with the Courts?
A: The probate process is started when probate proceedings are filed with the clerk of the circuit court. In most instances. the proceedings are filed in the state county where the individual whose estate is going through probate passed away. This is not always the case, however, and it’s always best to consult a FL probate attorney to check that a probate process is being filed correctly.
Q: Do I Have to Pay Any Fees When Initiating the Probate Process?
A: Yes. unfortunately, there are filing fees required when you initiate the probate process with the clerk of the circuit court. The probate filing fee will be determined by a number of factors including the value of the estate and the type of probate process that will take place.
Q: How Can I Be Sure That All of the Paperwork is Properly Tracked
A: It’s true that the probate court system has more paperwork floating around than you can shake a stick at, so how can you be sure that all of your paperwork is related to your case and paperwork from someone else’s case hasn’t found its way into your file? Look at the case number! When you file your case with probate court, your case is assigned an identifying number. All of your paperwork for the case will be tagged with this number. It’s important that anytime you need to reference paperwork, you check this number to be sure that it refers to your case. If you find anything that references another probate case, that you pass that information back to the clerk of courts or to your attorney without reading any further.
Q: Do I Have to Hire a Probate Lawyer?
A: A FL probate attorney can be exceptionally helpful in probate court and we always advise that you at least consult a probate attorney to help you to get a better understanding of what Probate processes mean, your role in the processes, and to ensure that you meet any necessary deadlines that are set out by the courts.
Q: How Do I Know What Type of Probate Proceedings I Have to Go Through?
A: As we have discussed before, there are a handful of different types of probate proceedings and if you have no experience in any of them, you may be wondering how you are supposed to know which type of probate proceeding is recommended for your case. There are a couple of ways of doing this, you can speak with the clerk of courts and see if they may be able to help you. If they are not able to help, your best solution is to hire a FL probate attorney. An attorney will not only be able to help you to determine what type of probate process is best, but they will be able to walk you through each step of probate to be sure that everything is done by the books. This is particularly important because when not done by the books, you can cause irreparable harm to the estate of the deceased.
Q: If I Have a POA Does That Mean That I’m the Executor of the Will?
A: Simply put, no. Even if you had a power of attorney when the deceased individual was still alive, this becomes obsolete once the grantor of the document dies. A power of attorney is only valid when the grantor is still living and once they die it becomes null and void. The executor of a will is a separate position altogether and a FL probate attorney should be able to inform you of whether or not you also play this role…although hopefully, you were notified of this responsibility by the deceased before their death!
Q: What Happens if an Heir is Missing?
A: During the probate process, accommodations may or may not be made for a missing heir. This is dependent upon the type of probate process that is taking place. The formal probate process, for example, can continue even if an heir is missing. However, if the estate is going through summary administration, the process cannot continue without the missing heir.
Have More Questions For Your Fl Probate Attorney?
If you have more questions for Weidner law Fl probate attorney about the Florida probate court processes, just reach out via phone by dialing 727-954-8752 or by submitting a question via our Fl probate attorney contact page!