When a person passes away in Florida and has a will, probate is the legal process that takes place to transfer their assets to their beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are the people or entities the deceased person named in the will.
The process begins when a petition is filed with the court in the county where the deceased person lived. This petition can ask the court to assign a personal representative who will be responsible for administering the estate.
The personal representative must give notice to all interested parties, including heirs, beneficiaries and creditors. They must also inventory all of the estate’s assets and must pay any debts owed by the estate, including outstanding bills, taxes and funeral expenses.
Asset inventory and distribution
The purpose of an asset inventory is to ensure there is an accurate accounting of the estate’s assets. The inventory may include real estate. This is any real property the deceased person owned, like their home, land or rental properties.
It will also include a list of the deceased person’s personal property like furniture, artwork, jewelry or other possessions. If the deceased person had any vehicles, those must be included as well as any other financial assets like bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts, stocks and bonds. The inventory must be as comprehensive as possible.
After paying any debts and expenses, the personal representative must then distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will be identified in the will.