Question:  What is probate?

 Answer:  Probate is a legal proceeding that takes place upon the death of a person. The probate proceeding assembles the decedent’s assets, pays his or her debts and taxes, and passes title to the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs.

Question:  What is a last will and testament?

Answer:  A last will and testament (also referred to as a will) is a formally executed document that specifies how one's assets will be distributed upon his or her death. Generally a personal representative has been named in the will to administer the decedent's estate upon his or her death.

Question:  What are the responsibilities of a personal representative?

Answer:  The personal representative is responsible for paying the decedent's debts and taxes, creating an inventory of the decedent's assets, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries after the debts and taxes have been paid.

Question:  What if someone dies without a will?

Answer:  When someone dies without a will, the estate must generally be probated; however, instead of referring to a will to direct who will receive the decedent's assets, the court refers to the Florida Statutes for the rules of intestate succession.

We offer a free consultation with a probate attorney to discuss your probate and estate planning needs.