Absolutely not – all estates do not need to go through probate in Florida. There are 3 different methods in which assets can be transferred in Florida.
First one is Joint Ownership with Right of Survivorship (JOWRS), which is a method that enables multiple people to own assets such as real estate, bank accounts, vehicles and so on. The transfer of asset to the joint owner can be done without a probate depending upon the kind of relationship which the parties share with each other.
The second method to transfer assets in Florida is by the way of agreement. For instance, there are beneficiary nominations on bank accounts which are actually agreements with your bank stating that upon your death, your bank would transfer everything you would want to, on your behalf, to a certain person or persons. Hence, no probate would be needed whatsoever if the decedent only had a bank account in which there were designated beneficiaries.
You will need to approach an authority to transfer certain assets in case you do not have any kind of joint ownership or any type of agreement.
Only a judge has the power to authorize you to transfer such assets belonging to another person. Probate is nothing but the process where the court determines the rightful heir, the creditors and the rightful way for the distribution of these assets.
Probate is inclusive of various methods such as addressing the creditors, selling of real estate, asset distribution, liquidation and the likes. The crux of probate lies in obtaining proper authorization for handling a decedent’s properties and assets.
If you are looking for a lawyer in Florida, call Michael Heider, a Florida Probate Attorney, at 888-483-5040 for a free consultation.