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In this article, you can discover:
- All estates in Florida go through probate in some capacity, but not all assets need to go through this process.
- Anyone can serve as the executor or personal representative of an estate in Florida, and the distribution of assets depends on whether the estate is testate or intestate.
- Contesting a will in Florida is possible, with common grounds being a lack of formalities or concerns over the testator’s mental capacity at the time of signing.
Do All Estates Have To Go Through Probate In Florida?
Yes, all estates in some capacity do have to go through probate in Florida. However, not all assets held by the decedent necessarily go through probate. This depends on the decedent’s estate plan.
Who Can Serve As The Personal Representative/Executor Of An Estate In Florida?
Anyone can serve as the executor or personal representative of an estate. The executor is designated by the will and the testator, whereas the personal representative is assigned by the judge. If there’s a will, typically the named executor serves as the personal representative to simplify the process.
How Are Assets Distributed In A Florida Probate?
The distribution of assets depends on whether the estate is testate (with a will) or intestate (without a will). In a testate estate, the will guides the distribution. In an intestate estate, assets are distributed per stirpes, a system that follows the lines of heirs and descendants. Florida also observes the anti-lapse statute, meaning if an heir predeceases the testator but has heirs, the inheritance goes to those heirs.
Is Probate Expensive In Florida?
The cost of probate in Florida can vary. Government filing fees are generally standard and affordable. However, the cost of legal representation can vary significantly depending on the attorney you hire and if the probate is contested.
Can A Will Be Contested In Florida? What Are The Grounds For Contesting A Will?
Yes, a will can be contested in Florida. Common grounds for contesting a will include failing to adhere to formalities (such as not having two subscribing witnesses), or questions surrounding the testator’s mental capacity at the time of signing. The influence exerted on a weakened testator can also be grounds for invalidating a will.