When a loved one passes away and leaves an estate behind, Probate comes into the picture. Probate in Florida is a tough process.
What does Probate mean? Probate is a legal process by which the deceased’s estate is passed on to their beneficiaries and heirs after all of the decedent’s debts are paid.
There are some common probate complications that you must be aware of to ensure that you follow the process to avoid these
complications. This article will provide clarity on the same.
What are the most common probate complications?
1) An argument between family members: Dealing with the loss of loved ones is difficult. Each family member goes through a tough emotional process, and the complexity of the probate process can boost frustration & worries causing arguments and fights between family members.
If the estate is significant, or if a family member doesn’t feel as though they are taken care of in the will, it could cause arguments & fights.
These arguments can be minimized by ensuring that when you draft a will it is sufficiently spelled out how each family member will be taken care of.
Arguments are one of the most common reasons for complications in the probate process. It’s tough to satisfy everyone, and arguments can occur, especially when the estate is large and family members don’t agree on how things are to be distributed.
2) When an estate is in multiple states: Having assets in multiple states is a common reason that often makes the probate process complicated.
If the decedent possesses property in more than one state, it becomes mandatory for the personal representative to follow the probate process in each state. You will need to be aware of the laws in each state to ensure that the process is followed correctly. Multiple state estates will delay the entire probate process considerably. If your loved one has an estate in more than one state, be prepared for some head-scratching and a complex legal process.
3) Personal representative not accepting the role: The Personal Representative and your probate attorney are they key players in probating an estate. The person named as the personal representative will be collecting information regarding the estate’s assets, debts, beneficiary information, etc., so that the assets can be distributed according to the will.
This is a responsibility that many people accept with pride, however, there is a possibility that someone won’t be keen on taking on this responsibility.
If that happens, it will delay the process as the court will have to appoint another person as personal representative.
Also, complications can arise when someone from the family objects to the appointment of a personal representative. If this happens, the person objecting to the appointment would have to present valid reasons to the court to remove the appointed person. If the reasons presented are determined to be valid, the court will cancel the appointment and appoint another person as personal representative.
Either way, if the complication is directly or indirectly associated with the personal representative, you can expect a considerable delay and complications.
4) Debts complicate the matter: Creditor claims are the debts that are to be paid before the beneficiaries can get their inheritance. The beneficiaries can legally ask the creditors to prove that the claims are valid.
This entire process is complex and consumes a lot of time. In addition, the state might also seek reimbursement from an estate to recover the amount it may have paid for Medicaid claims for the decedent.
5) Different beliefs of the beneficiaries about the decedent’s estate: This complication often arises when there is no will. This problem can be totally avoided if everything has been clarified in a will that has been properly executed.
If a will hasn’t been prepared, or properly executed, a personal representative will need to be appointed before probate can take place. The beneficiaries may disagree over several things at once.
It is essential that before entering probate the personal representative is clear with how things will be distributed, like whether a property will be rented or sold, whether the estate will be divided evenly, etc.
6) Going it alone toughens the path: Some people prefer to initiate the probate process without anyone’s guidance, which can eventually increase the complexities of the process, which is already tough, especially when things are filed incorrectly with the court that will later need to be corrected. .
When you are about to go through the probate process, it is highly recommended that you hire an experienced, reliable Florida Probate Attorney. Not doing so can be an invitation for trouble later.
We hope that you have a better understanding of some of the most common issues that can complicate the probate process. Knowing these issues will definitely help you be aware and work to avoid them as much as possible.
If you are looking to minimize complications and go through the entire process smoothly, do reach out to the Law Office of Michael Heider . Our Florida Probate Attorneys will go through your case and guide you through the process to obtain the best and least frustrating results.