Probate is a process that proves the will of the deceased person is valid, so their property can in due course be retitled or transferred to beneficiaries of the will. As with any legal proceeding, there are technical aspects to probate administration:
Creditors must be notified and legal notices published
Executors of the will must be guided in how and when to distribute assets and how to take creditors rights into account
A petition to appoint a personal representative may need to be filed and letters of administration issued.
Homestead property, which follows its own set of unique rules in the state of Florida, must be dealt with separately from other assets.
There are important time factors involved in filing an objecting to claims against the estate.
There may be a lawsuit pending over the decedent’s death or there may have been pending suits that are now continuing .
Real estate or other property may need to be sold to affect correct distribution of assets pursuant to the will or merely to pay debts.
Estate taxes, gift taxes or inheritance taxes must be considered if the estate exceeds certain thresholds.
Costs of the administration including ordinary taxation such as income tax on interest and property taxation is deducted from assets in the estate before distribution by the executors of the will.
Other assets may simply need to be transferred from the deceased to his or her beneficiaries, such as life insurance. Other assets may have pay on death or transfer on death designations which help avoid probate.
The rights of beneficiaries must be respected, in terms of providing proper and adequate notice, making timely distribution of estate assets, and otherwise administering the estate properly and efficiently.