How Does Florida Inheritance Work?
There are many ways that you can receive an inheritance in Florida depending on your loved one’s final arrangements.
If the deceased left a Last Will and Testament specifying who should obtain what assets, those assets will be properly allocated after the court verifies the validity of the Will and goes through the probate process.
Many individuals believe that simply being named in a will means the assets will automatically be distributed to them after the individual passes away only to find out from a bank or property records division that they have to start the probate process.
The method can be much quicker if your loved one creates a living trust. The successor trustee will, after payment of any final debts and handling any remaining estate issues, allocate assets to the appointed beneficiaries without the need for the probate process.
What Happens When There Is No Will?
If a resident of Florida dies without having made a Last Will and Testament, the rules of intestacy succession found in the Probate Code of Florida will determine who inherits the probate estate of the deceased person.
For more information, please refer to our articles on Intestate Succession as it relates to Florida law.
Is Probate Part Of The Estate Tax?
The probate process is confused with the federal estate tax by certain individuals. The probate process is used to settle the estate of the deceased by paying any outstanding bills and transferring assets to the heirs when someone dies with assets in their own individual name.
Inheriting Assets Through A Will
Patience is crucial if you are set to inherit assets from a Will. If you have ever heard the expression “the wheels of justice are slow” this very much applies to the probate process.
A Will must go through a probate court after the testator passes away to prove the validity of the Will.
Depending on how many assets there are, this process can take months or even years, whether the beneficiaries challenge the will or not, and which debts the estate must pay.
When the deceased leaves a living trust, the process is also considerably more rapid. Usually, living trusts are excluded from probate, enabling the executor to distribute assets promptly and efficiently.
Speak To Our Florida Probate Attorneys
As an intestate heir in Florida, if you are not sure of your legal rights and do not understand the Florida Inheritance Law, then check with a Florida probate attorney to be sure.
Inheritance law is complex, and without the support of a probate attorney, understanding your rights can be complicated.
To explore your options, contact our Law Firm if you need assistance contesting the acts of an executor or navigating the probate process.