what does it mean to send a will to probate
1 Answer from Attorneys
"Probate" comes from a latin word meaning to examine, prove, and show to be real or true. This is essentially the purpose of the probate courts - to prove that the deceased person's will is valid and that their wishes are fulfilled (and creditors satisfied, when applicable).
People either pass away "intestate" (without a Last Will and Testament) or "testate" (without such a Will). Either way a deceased person's estate must be probated.
The Florida Probate Code sets forth the procedure required to prove that a Will is valid or; if no Will, sets forth the priorities of how to distribute the property owned by the estate of the deceased person (i.e. who gets the deceased person's stuff).
Administrating a Will in probate involves appointing a personal representative, creating an inventory of the estates probatable assets (not all assets must be probated, e.g. the homestead, pay-on-death bank accounts, jointly owned property with right of survivorship, etc...).
The probate process can be lengthy and time consuming. Some simple estate planning can greatly minimize or altogether avoid probate.
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