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Who Is Involved in the Probate Process in Florida?

Who Is Involved in the Probate Process in Florida?

When you pass away, your estate will likely go through the probate process. Any of the following Florida state officials and other parties may be involved in the probate of your estate:

  • The county clerk for the county where you were living at the time of your death
  • Your personal representative, occasionally referred to as estate administrator or executor
  • A circuit court judge overseeing the process
  • An attorney who can provide advice to your personal representative during the probate process
  • Anyone filing a claim related to debts you still owed upon your death (such as creditors or medical providers)
  • Internal Revenue Service representatives seeking to collect taxes you might owe, which could include outstanding income taxes or gift or estate taxes

The judge’s role in the probate process

The circuit judge presides over all the probate proceedings. They determines whether your will is valid. They also collect and consider evidence confirming the identities of your beneficiaries, who will receive the probate assets of your estate.

If you named a personal representative in your last will and testament, the judge decides whether that individual is qualified to handle the role. Once the personal representative is deemed adequate, the judge issues Letters of Administration, which serve as evidence of the representative’s authority to perform various administrative tasks on behalf of your estate.

If anyone raises questions or disputes arise during the administration of your estate, the judge may hold a hearing to answer question and resolve issues. After the hearing, the judge issues a written decision about how those involved will proceed.

For further information and guidance on the probate process in Florida, contact a skilled Pensacola estate planning attorney with The Law Office of Zachary T. Magaha.

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