Is There More Than One Type Of Probate?
Probate is the court supervised process of distributing a person’s assets after they have passed away. A court will supervise the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries. If you did not choose your beneficiaries, the beneficiaries will be designated by the intestacy laws of your state. There are two main types of probate: summary administration, for estates valued at $75,000 or less, which is a form-based proceeding; and formal administration.
A formal administration is a process by which a personal representative is appointed by the court and the court oversees all of the distributions of the assets. That personal representative is in charge of distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, paying off the creditors, liquidating the assets, and making sure that everything is properly taken care of. The personal representative has a fiduciary responsibility to the estate and they are required to act within the requirements set up by the will or by intestacy laws. A personal representative does not get discretion in terms of who will benefit from the estate or whether a creditor is going to get paid.
The personal representative does have a lot of procedural control and authority, which can make a big difference in an estate. They determine how quickly bills get paid and assets get sold or liquidated. It is very important that you have a personal representative you can trust and one who has a good business acumen. Since the probate process is overseen by a judge, the personal representative will submit a detailed accounting to the court.
What Factors Set The Stage For Probate To Occur?
Probate is only necessary if there are assets to be distributed. They have to go through the probate process in order for their titles to transfer. Most assets do not require title to be transferred. With bank accounts, you can set a pay on death beneficiary that states who the person is going to be who receives those assets upon your death. Similarly, for brokerage accounts, stock investments, and mutual fund investments, you have a transfer on death provision, which simply says who those assets are transferred to in the event that you pass away. Unfortunately, there are assets that do have to pass through the probate process, if they are not accounted for in another way. Primarily, these are any accounts that you don’t have a transfer on death beneficiary listed, as well as real estate.
For more information on Different Types Of Probate In Florida, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 546-7755 today.
Call For A Free Consultation