It can be very difficult for anyone to lose a loved one. Not only are people struggling with grief and sadness, but there can be confusion regarding the legal process that follows a person’s death.

For instance, you might be wondering what is probate and what happens to your loved one’s estate?

What is probate?

If your loved one left a will, it will likely go through probate. Probate refers to the lawful process where a will is made legal.

Many things will happen during probate. Typically, the process involves paying debts, resolving legal contests, contacting beneficiaries, transferring assets and carrying out any other actions specified in the will.

If you are the personal representative (or executor) of the estate, you will have numerous responsibilities. These include distributing assets, filing paperwork, paying debts, paying taxes and eventually closing the estate. If you are not the personal representative, you can still play a role in probate if you are a beneficiary or have reason to contest the will or the actions of the personal representative.

The probate process in Florida

The probate court laws vary depending on your state. If you go through the probate process in Florida, you should know that there are two different types of probate. They are summary administration and formal administration.

  • Summary administration – This type of probate is for estates with assets valuing less than $75,000 or when the death occurred more than two years ago. Summary administration is a simplified probate process.
  • Formal administration – This type of probate is for estates greater than $75,000 and estates that are not eligible for summary administration. Formal administration is a lengthier, more complicated probate process than summary administration.

It is important to understand that every case is unique, and there are many legal nuances involved in probate. However, having some general insight into the probate process can be helpful for anyone who has recently lost a loved one.