Attorney Brown has represented heirs, beneficiaries, and surviving family members in the full probate administration of both “testate” and “intestate” estates in Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Duval Counties since at least 2016.
The probate process is a mostly transactional court process that involves the submission of paperwork (petitions and proofs) to the court. It establishes how or when a deceased person’s property can be distributed to their heirs or surviving family members after certain debts, taxes or funeral expenses have been paid. Some of the decedent’s property may be exempt from court oversight but most of the property to be distributed must be disclosed on an “inventory” that is filed with the court and about which a notice to the Florida Department of Revenue (FLDOR) and Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (FLAHCA) must be notified. The process requires that the petitioner or person requesting the authority to act as personal representative or executor provide proof they are an adult over 18, take an oath they are mentally competent, and affirm they have never been convicted of abuse of the elderly or vulnerable person. To begin the probate process, a prospective personal representative must gather the following which is not an inclusive list of items to be requested by the court:
- A copy of the LONG FORM death certificate
- An original of a duly executed Last Will and Testament, IF ONE EXISTS
- A copy of the personal representative’s valid state issued identification.
- A copy of receipt for payment of funeral/memorial and cremation services
- A list of property that requires distribution or access pursuant to a court order.
- A list of heirs, beneficiaries or immediate surviving beneficiaries including all minor children or any spouse, estranged or with whom the decedent cohabited at the time of the decedent’s death and provide those persons relationship to the decedent, their dates of birth and contact details as they must be notified about the proceeding.
Note that the process requires fees be paid for the attorney services, to the Clerk of Court and for the publication of a Notice to Creditors in a local or regional legal classified typically in advance of any estate distributions.
For further information and to find out more about the probate process or to obtain a quote, please contact us.