First and foremost, if you are in need of legal representation for a Jacksonville, Duval County, probate proceeding, please accept my condolences for your loss. This is a legal proceeding required when a person dies with assets in only his or her individual name. Probate is the legal proceeding that allows you (a beneficiary) to legally gain the deceased’s assets whether there is a will or not. It is not a will that prevents probate; it is whether the deceased has assets in only his or her name at the time of death that dictates whether a probate must be opened. If a person dies with no will (intestate), the State of Florida has statutory guidelines of how assets pass. A probate proceeding can be a long drawn out process, contentious and costly to your loved ones. If a Florida resident dies with no living relatives, the deceased’s assets will go to the State of Florida.

Starting a Florida probate proceeding will first depend on the amount of total assets included in the estate. If the estate is valued under $75,000.00, then you will need a Summary Administration. If the estate is valued over $75,000.00, then you will need a Formal Administration. In either proceeding, creditors of the deceased must be notified. Creditors claims must be timely filed; and if so, then the creditors must be paid. Creditor claims will deplete the assets of the estate; and depreciate the amount left for the heirs.

If there is no will dictating who gets the estate and how much, then Florida Statutes will dictate who receives what and what portion. Your spouse could receive the entire intestate estate or could possibly only receive half of the intestate estate.

Lim & Company, PL has a Jacksonville Probate attorney here to assist you with your Probate proceeding or legal needs.