How can I avoid the probating of my estate?
First, we should define Florida Probate, as most people do
not understand what it means.
is the administration of estates. A personal
representative or attorney will present your will,
if you have one, to the probate court with an
inventory of assets and liabilities of your estate.
The procedure of administering or carrying out your
last wishes and desires and the expense involved in
changing title to property is called probate.
Probate as defined in Black’s Law Dictionary
is “the act or process of proving a will.”
Contrary to popular belief, items or property that
are left in a will, unless jointly held, do
have to be probated. Thus, items left to your
children or other family members would have to go
through the probate procedure. This procedure could
easily take up to one year or more and be of
considerable expense. Those persons who die without
a will leave their estate exposed to the State of
Florida in providing a will and deciding upon the
AVOIDING FLORIDA PROBATE
are three kinds of property that can pass to your
heirs at your death without going through the
probate procedure. They are the following:
Most property owned jointly with the right of
Property held in a living trust;
Life insurance payable to a named
It should be
pointed out that not all property held jointly
avoids probate; that trusts created in wills do not
avoid probate; and that insurance left to the estate
does not avoid probate.
planning often involves the teamwork of an attorney,
a CPA or accountant, an insurance agent, and a
financial planner. Of all the above mentioned, the
attorney should control the input from the other
team members, and only he is authorized to practice
law and advise you of the legal ramifications of
your estate plan.
You should be
extremely cautious of persons offering to provide
estate analysis who are merely trying to sell you a
product. Such decisions should be reviewed with an