Probate FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Probate is the process of transferring ownership assets from an heir to their beneficiaries. When we meet with clients, the first question we ask is if there was a will. If not, we have to follow the statute and file a case with the court.

In order to probate a matter in Florida people are required to be represented by an attorney.
We normally bill on an hourly basis. The basis is contractual in nature. There are instances where if I believe that the circumstances allow for that, I would do a flat fee depending on the nature and complexity of the case. Again, it depends on the facts of each case and what is involved, and what has to be done.
After setting up a consultation we advise our clients to bring a death certificate, funeral bill, a list of debts and assets and if possible a will. During the consultation we will explain the probate process, explain the fees and get documents signed to start the process.
In most cases, both spouses hold property jointly. In these cases, the property will transfer to the other spouse. If there is a property that is not held jointly then you would have to probate the matter to transfer ownership.
The decision to have a living will is a personal preference. If you know what you want it is best to have one so you are not leaving your family to make those decisions. Veliz Katz Law can help put together your living will.
If the party does not have a will the first step is to look at the probate statute. The statute will tell you how the property will pass. This could mean the property will go to a spouse, children or to parents.
Common questions: What is probate? How much time does it take?
In order to probate a matter, people are required to have an attorney represent them — they are not able to do it on their own.
If anything has a named beneficiary, including life insurance, those will pass outside of probate, and don’t have to be probated. Only items that don’t have a beneficiary, and are only in the name of the deceased, require probate.
When we set up a consultation for probate we ask for a death certificate, funeral bill, a will of all assets and debts. We can then advise them and explain the probate process. We also provide documents that will assist with the probate.
The easiest way is to check with the clerk and county where the person resided, and it’s usually contained within the public records.
It’s about how the property was titled. On the death of a spouse, most of the time, the property will pass to the other spouse. If a spouse passed and the property was held just in their own name, a probate will be necessary to transfer ownership to the other spouse.
The party can hire an attorney in the state of Florida. We’ve handled many probate manners throughout the state of Florida. You simply have to file in the county where the person resided.
Probate usually takes 4 to 6 months from when you file the probate case. Creditors have up to three 3 months to file a claim against the case. After that, you are able to disperse the property.
Probate can take as little as 3 to 6 months. However, it can take years depending on the nature of the estate or what needs to be done for the estate. Estate planning can be overwhelming especially if there was negligence involved and could lead to litigation. Contact an estate planning attorney today at Veliz Katz Law in Orlando, Florida.
It depends if there’s a will. The will prescribes and dictates what that person will get. It’s important to note that in the state of Florida, you cannot disinherit your spouse. Even if you do a will and leave nothing to your spouse, that your spouse can come back and petition the court for at least 50% of your estate. The same thing in an intestate estate, the spouse automatically is entitled to 50% of the estate.
Probate proceedings are filed normally in the county where the person resided at the time of death and it’s in the circuit court in that county.
A testate proceeding is when a person leaves a Will. That’s pretty straightforward unless there’s some dissension about the actual Will … and that has happened. The Will prescribes what the court should do in terms of distribution of that person’s assets, and the payment of that person’s liabilities. Then you have what we call an intestate proceeding, and that’s where there’s no Will. And in that, it’s mainly statutory as to who the court will appoint as what we call the person representative … Otherwise known in many areas as an executor, and how the assets will be distributed.
Probate cases are usually not complicated and can be fairly routine. If the heirs or beneficiaries are in disagreement the case can get more complicated. In these cases, you need a lawyer who understands the process and has experience with probate cases. Contact Veliz Katz Law to get the results you need.


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