What happens after you die? At Orcutt-Angius & Ayala, the answer is Probate. Probate usually involves a named Executor (indicated in your Will by you during your Estate Planning process with an OAA attorney) filing papers in your local Probate court. The executor validates your Will, presenting the court with a list of your assets and debts, and specifies who or what is to inherit what.
Asset Distribution occurs after all debts, creditor, and representatives are payed. How wealth is distributed largely depends on the presence of a valid Will, of which specifies heirs and inheritances. If there’s no valid Will, then Florida Intestate Laws will determine estate beneficiaries, which may include any surviving immediate family members (spouse, children, parents), and allot percentages of the estate to each family member.
It’s best to place your affairs in order, early, as tomorrow is never a guarantee. If you don’t outline who’ll represent your Estate and how your assets will be distributed, a judge will be forced to appoint someone for you.
The Probate process can take up to 6-9 months. If your immediate family is in need of monetary support during this time, they may ask the court to release short-term funds.
After you pass on, our legal team will ensure that your interests are followed through.
Certain criteria must be met for choosing who represents your estate after death. In Florida, that includes: blood relation (the decedent) or a resident of Florida, and being 18 years or older with no felony convictions.
If you’re administering an Estate as a resident of another state, our Bonita Springs attorney is readily available to assist you with any local needs, throughout Lee & Collier County.
OAA Law also assists beneficiaries who believe that the appointed representative of a late loved one’s estate is abusing their position for their own benefit or to withhold inheritance. If this applies to you, our Probate professionals can help you through the process of removal or appointment of executors.