Probate in Florida is a court-supervised process in which a deceased person’s assets are distributed to his or her surviving heirs and creditors. One of the advantages of estate planning is that it avoids the probate process altogether. Buy why avoid probate? In this article, we share four reasons to avoid probate in the state of Florida.
Reasons to Avoid Probate
After death, your assets and debts must be dealt with regardless of whether you create an estate plan. By planning, however, you can address your assets and debts without going through probate. Below are the four primary reasons to avoid probate in Florida.
Privacy: Probate is a public process. In other words, anyone can access most probate documents. For people who value their privacy, this is a good reason to avoid probate.
Control: The probate process is controlled by the court. Therefore, your personal representative will have to receive the court’s permission to administer your assets. If you want to maintain control over your assets and decide how they are to be distributed after death, you should take steps to avoid probate.
Time: The majority of probate proceedings take between eight months to a year to conclude. This is far longer than it takes to wrap up a person’s estate who executed an estate plan prior to passing away.
Cost: In addition to being lengthy, probate is expensive. The length of probate can result in high legal fees and personal representative compensation. All of this can be avoided, however, through the estate planning process.
Avoiding Probate in Florida
A few ways to avoid probate in Florida include:
Create a trust: One way to avoid probate in Florida is to create a trust to hold your assets. Assets held in the name of a trust don’t ordinarily require probate.
Designate a beneficiary: In the state of Florida, many types of financial accounts permit the designation of a beneficiary. When you designate a beneficiary, he or she may access your accounts following your death. This helps to avoid probate and is a fast way to transfer assets following death.
Change ownership of real estate: Finally, including your heir’s name on the deed to real property that you own is a way to transfer such property without going through the probate process.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
If you’d like to avoid the probate process in the state of Florida, you need an experienced estate planning attorney in your corner. At the Law Offices of Angela Siegel, attorney Angela Siegel can help you create an estate plan that avoids probate. Ms. Siegel routinely helps clients create estate plans that not only avoid probate but leave them and their loved ones protected for years to come. With years of experience drafting effective estate plans, Angela Siegel will ensure that your estate plan addresses your unique needs. Please contact us today to begin the estate planning process.