A Florida Probate Attorney Dispels Common Misconceptions
Probate law is frequently seen as a mysterious process. Most people don’t really want to think about death, so they push it out of their minds. Others are confused by the way movies portray probate law. Sometimes, family members talk about their own experience and unwittingly provide their own misinformation. Yet, any Florida probate lawyer will tell you that you should know what to expect from the process.
One problem probate attorneys in Miami Florida encounter is many people have misconceptions about probate law. There are certain popular beliefs that continue to persist even though they’re incorrect. When a loved one dies, this can lead to all kinds of problems and distress when the truth unfolds.
Here, a probate attorney in Florida looks at some myths about probate and sorts the facts from the fiction.
Myth 1 – Wills Spare Heirs from Undergoing Probate
Drawing up a will always makes the administration of the deceased’s estate easier. A will clearly indicates how to distribute assets and how to pay any debts. A will also nominates a designated person to manage the process. However, it won’t substitute the probate process. The first act when administering most estates will be to submit the deceased’s will to probate.
Myth 2 – You’re Able to Leave Your Assets to Anybody
You have a large amount of freedom when it comes to choosing the way you want to distribute your assets. However, your power isn’t unlimited. Someone who is married cannot exclude his or her spouse from his or her inheritance. A court can override any will that gives a surviving spouse under 30 percent of the deceased’s estate.
Myth 3 – You Can Disinherit Anybody Who Poses A Challenge to The Will to Prevent Contests
Some people believe if they add a provision for “no contest” in their wills, it will minimize family conflicts. In such cases, anybody challenging the will and then loses receives nothing. As probate attorneys in Jacksonville Florida, we must advise that the state doesn’t recognize or enforce these clauses.
Myth 4 – The State Will Get Your Property If You Die with No Will in Place
Occasionally, if somebody dies without a will, his or her property will go to the state. However, this happens very rarely. Florida state law for intestate succession provides that the surviving family members will receive the deceased’s assets.
Myth 5 – I Don’t Need a Will as Intestate Succession Laws Will Provide for My Family
The intestate succession laws will indeed provide for some family members should you die with no will. However, there isn’t any guarantee that assets will eventually be distributed in the way you would have wanted. To protect your loved ones, it’s always best to see a probate attorney in Miami Florida to help draw up a will.
Myth 6 – Probate Takes Years
In a few cases, probate will take more than a year. Yet, sometimes courts resolve many cases in just a few months.
Myth 7 – The Deceased’s Eldest Child Is Always the Executor
While the deceased’s eldest child will often be the executor, this isn’t always the case. A testator can choose almost anyone to be the executor of his or her will. Should someone die intestate, the courts will appoint someone to be the administrator of the deceased’s estate. While this may be his or her eldest child, it also may not be.
Getting Advice from a Probate Attorney in Florida
As you can see, there are many misconceptions surrounding probate law in Florida. The best way to guarantee you have your estate administered as you wish is to visit a Florida probate attorney. We can help you to draw up a will to distribute your assets as you see fit. This will give you peace of mind that the courts will carry out your wishes after your death.