How do you probate a will in Florida?


Quick Answer

To probate a will in Florida, it must fall under either formal administration or summary administration, according the Florida Bar. To begin the process, the will and any other relevant documents must be filed with the clerk of the circuit court where the deceased lived.

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Full Answer

A filing fee may be required to the clerk, the Florida Bar advises. The clerk is responsible for assigning the proceedings a file number and maintaining all records pertaining to the probate estate. Once the clerk files, a circuit court judge is assigned to preside over the process. The judge is responsible for establishing the validity of the will and confirming the identities of the heirs listed in the will. If the deceased listed a personal representative, the judge determines if the nominee has the necessary qualifications to administer the probate estate.

When the validity of a will has been established, a judge will appoint the spouse of the deceased or a representative appointed by the majority of the heirs to administer the estate if there is not a preselected personal representative, the Florida Bar explains. If the judge finds any reason to dispute any part of the filing, a date can be set to hold a hearing where questions and issues can be resolved for all parties involved. The representative and an attorney determine and pay any debts or taxes the deceased owes, and then they divide the assets accordingly.

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