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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > Myths Regarding the Florida Probate

Myths Regarding the Florida Probate


If you live in Florida, it is important to make yourself aware of the varied nuances involved during the probate process. Probate can be mysterious, and this is why we are here with a list of myths to clear the air. Let’s have a look at some common myths.

  • When you create a will, your heirs need not go through the probate process – While a will does make things easier, it does not spare your family members from the probate process. A will that is correctly drafted actually determines who will handle the probate process, apart from providing details on the distribution of assets and debts. Moreover, the probate helps to validate the will and makes sure that all assets are distributed properly, and that all debts are paid off.
  • While creating the will, you can leave your assets and property to anyone you want – You will have some liberty while writing your will, and while you can include whoever you want, it does not mean that you can prevent your spouse from inheriting anything. If you leave less than 30 percent of the estate to your spouse, then he or she is entitled to have the “elective share” in spite of what the will states.
  • You can avoid will contests if you disinherit the person challenging your will – Often, to prevent unpleasant family conflicts, people put on a “no contest” clause. But these clauses are not valid in Florida. The state will not recognize any such clauses and therefore, anyone can actually challenge your will.
  • If you do not create a will before your death, then the State will get all your property – Now, one cannot say that it is completely impossible for the State to get the property of someone who has failed to create a will before his or her death. However, this is highly unlikely. The laws in Florida regarding intestate succession state, without a will, your assets will be distributed among the surviving members of your family, following a very complicated hierarchy and any member can receive a portion.
  • A will is not necessary as intestate succession will take care of the surviving family members –While intestate succession does take care of a few family members upon your death, it does not divide assets in the manner that you would have wanted. The distribution of assets or property according to interstate succession is often not done in a way that is best for all the members.
  • It takes many years for the probate process to be completed – The administration of an estate does take some time, but it can often be finished in a few months. The probate process does not usually take more than a year to finish and even this long a period is mostly due to things like will contests or liquidation of property holdings.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today 

If you have questions about probate or other aspects of estate planning, contact Tampa estate planning attorney David Toback today to schedule a consultation.





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