Whether an individual leaves a will or not, the estate has to undergo a specific legal technique to transfer the property title from the deceased to the heirs. This is the probate technique. Every US state has positive statutes in this regard. The Chapters 731 to 735 of the Florida Statutes dictates the Florida Probate Code.
Before you delve in to the details of how the probate technique works in Florida, you must have a clear idea about the entities involved in it. Here is a list of these:
- The Circuit Court Judge
- The Circuit Court Clerk of the county of residence of the deceased (at the time of his/her death)
- The decedent’s personal representative (individual or institution)
- The legal professional (attorney working on behalf of the representative)
- The creditors (entities who have filed claims regarding incurred debts)
In most probate proceedings, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also an involved party. This is, only if issues like federal income taxes or federal gifts are involved in the assets of the deceased.
Next, is the query of how the administration procedure works? It is necessary to consult an attorney to understand the intricate details of the technique.
The first task is to identify the heirs to the property. If there is a will of the decedent, the Judge considers the validity of the document. Only if the will follows particular Florida laws, it is deemed valid. If the decedent dies without a will, i.e. intestate, the Judge identifies the legal heirs & determines the division of property according to the laws.