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How to Initiate a Probate Proceeding in Florida

How to Initiate a Probate Proceeding in Florida

To begin a probate proceeding, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file a petition, which is typically prepared by an attorney. The personal representative is then responsible for all aspects of administering the estate until all financial obligations have been met and all estate assets have been distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s wishes or with Florida law (when no last will and testament has been found).

The personal representative must file various items of paperwork in addition to filing a disposition of personal property without administration. These items include the following:

  • A copy of the will (if one exists), to be filed with the clerk of the circuit court within 10 days of the notice of death
  • An itemized funeral bill
  • A death certificate
  • Receipts for paid medical expenses that were incurred within the 60 days prior to death
  • Identification for the person making the filing
  • Additional specific identification regarding the types of asset to be released
  • A filing fee set by Florida regulations
  • A receipt for payment of funeral bills that identifies the individual who paid the bill

Once you have filed this information with the clerk, the court may then authorize the transfer, payment or disposition of all personal property belonging to the decedent.

The county clerk’s office usually suggests calling ahead to discuss what is required with the staff before you go to the office. Calling ahead could help you avoid a fruitless trip or actions that could delay the process.

For more information on probate in Florida and how to get the process started, contact a skilled Pensacola estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Zachary T. Magaha.

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