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Probate is a legal process through which the assets of a Testor(s) or the deceased, are properly distributed to his/her/their heirs or beneficiaries under a Last Will and Testament, or if there is no will, according to Florida Law. The court, or a personal representative, oversees the administration of the estate to make sure debts are paid and proper distribution is made. Most people do not realize a will is usually for small ticket items within or around the home; such as a car, watches, jewelry, dishware, appliances, antiques, furniture, clothes, funeral arrangements, etc… For the big-ticket item, the property itself, the best way to secure or protect real estate, sell real estate, transfer homestead exemptions, and to bypass the probate process all together is with a Living Revocable Trust Agreement. Both legal documents should be created by an attorney with the originals held in safe keeping. Notices and a Warranty Deed gets recorded with the Clerk Of Court, not the original documents themselves. They should be kept private and in a secured place until the Testor(s) passes; such as a safe, with an attorney, trustee, or in a safety deposit box at a bank. Unfortunately, the majority of families do neither, so probate may be necessary and often times unavoidable even if the goal is to keep the matter from going through the court system.
It is highly recommended that heirs seek help before trying to navigate in and around this process, especially if there are any disagreements associated with selling the property amongst the heirs. Our team of experts have specialized in all aspects of Probate matters for more than 20 years, and if necessary, do an excellent job mediating disagreements or disputes.
NOTE: If Coast 2 Coast Investment Group is able to contract with all heirs to purchase the property(ies), we do not charge a realtor’s commission and the fee for legal services associated with the probate process is not charged until after the property is sold. In some cases, it is even paid for you. This saves thousands for the parties involved, sometimes tens of thousands. Please see the About Us tab for a better understanding of our roles as realtors with Keller Williams and as investors with Coast 2 Coast Investment Group. No matter what service you require, our team can help you with all your real estate needs. If the heirs wish to keep the property, but still need help from an attorney, please see our attorney referral recommendation under the Legal Tab.
Below are a few steps, definitions, and short explanations
of the probate process:
THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF PROBATE PROCEEDINGS: A formal administration, summary administration, and a disposition of personal property. You will need to know which is right for you. Please call to discuss
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CUSTODIAN OF A WILL, EXECUTOR OF A WILL AND TRUSTEE OF A TRUST AGREEMENT: Being the Custodian simply means that you are responsible for the document itself, the Executor “executes” the wishes of the Testor(s) immediately upon his/her/their death(s). These actions dissolve the will and complete the job of both. A Trustee of a trust agreement is a lot like a Custodian and Executor of a will, but who’s job may survive the deaths of the Grantor(s). Once the trust is created you can move the ownership of the property into the trust and appoint a trustee and successor trustee. A trust agreement is effective during your lifetime. If it is “Revocable” everything stated in the trust can be changed at any time. You direct the trustee on when to sell, rent, talk to authorities, make repairs, collect mail, conduct special acts if you become incapacitated, etc… and when you die a trustee or successor trustee will take over without the need of court approval. There are many benefits that both documents and both forms of representation offer. We provide these services, as well as our legal affiliates. Please call to discuss.
WHEN TO FILE A WILL: The custodian of the deceased’s original last will and testament must deposit the will with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where the decedent was domiciled, within ten (10) days after learning the person is deceased. The custodian must supply the person’s date of death or the person’s social security number to the Clerk upon deposit of the will.
IF THE DECEASED LEFT NO WILL: If there are assets to be probated, but no will was executed, the estate of the decedent must be distributed in accordance with Florida probate law. Please call to discuss.
IF THERE IS A WILL FILED BUT NO PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE HAS BEEN NAMED: It may be necessary for an attorney to petition the court on behalf of the heirs, beneficiaries or other interested parties to appoint a personal representative to administer the estate. We provide this service. Please call to discuss. Please call to discuss.